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17 February 2019

17 Feb. ND:Security withdrawn over Pulwama attacks, separatist leaders say ‘don’t need it’/ Delhi Minorities Panel says Hindutva groups using Pulwama to target Muslims, Kashmiris


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
17 Feb. 2019: 11 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:130
INDIA: PULWAMA AFTERMATH
Security withdrawn over Pulwama attacks, separatist leaders say ‘don’t need it’
Srinagar:J&K administration has withdrawn the security of five separatist leaders including Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.The orders come 3 days after the Pulwama attack.Apart from Mirwaiz, J&K has also removed the security cover of Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah.Reacting to the withdrawal of security from the separatist leaders, Mirwaiz-led All Parties Hurriyat Conference spokesperson said, that the separatist leaders had never asked for security and that they had repeatedly said that the govt can withdraw it.According to the order issued by the administration, security cover and vehicles that have been provided to the five separatist leaders will be withdrawn by today evening.The order said that no security forces or cover should be provided, under any pretext, to them or any other separatists.“If they have any other facilities provided by Govt, they are to be withdrawn forthwith,” the order states.The order further states that the police headquarters will review if there are any other separatists who have been provided government facilities and security and these shall be withdrawn immediately.The order comes two days after Union home minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir after the Pulwama attack.After reviewing the security situation in Kashmir, Rajnath had said that security given to people being funded by Pakistan and ISI should be reviewed. A statement issued by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that “with or without the security nothing had changed” and that everything “remains the same”.“The government and its propagandist anti-Kashmir media had repeatedly been raking up the issue of police personnel provided to resistance leadership to politicise, knowing fully well it has no bearing nor can it in any way change the reality of the lingering Kashmir dispute or the situation on ground or our principled stand and outlook regarding its resolution. With or without these police personnel at Hurriyat residence all remains the same,”statement said. He said the Hurriyat leaders had never asked for it. “In fact, it was the government that insisted on keeping the personnel based on what they said was their assessment of threat perception,”he said.”Separatist leader Abdul Ghani Bhat also said,“Security was provided by state govt,I don’t need it.My security is Kashmiri people.There are chances of war between Pak and India. Let them address the war issue first.” HT
Normal life affected after bandh call against attacks on Kashmiris
Srinagar :Normal life was affected in Kashmir on Sunday due to a valley-wide bandh called by trade bodies here against alleged harassment and attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu and outside the state, officials said. Kashmir bandh call was supported by major trade bodies like the Kashmir Economic Alliance and Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation as well as transporters’ associations. Shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut here in Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K, the officials said.They said public transport was off the roads and cabs and auto-rickshaws also largely stayed away, they added. The bandh also affected the weekly flea market as no vendor put up a stall on the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis through the city centre Lal Chowk, the officials said.PTI
Curfew continues without relaxation in Jammu, efforts on to restore normalcy
Jammu:Curfew continued without any relaxation in Jammu for the third consecutive day on Sunday even as Army staged flag march in sensitive areas, officials said. Senior civil and police officers held a marathon meeting with prominent citizens as part of efforts to restore normalcy in the city, they said.PTI
Delhi Minorities Panel says Hindutva groups using Pulwama to target Muslims, Kashmiris
New Delhi: Gruesome suicide attack in Pulwama has evoked strong protests across the country. However, in many places reports are coming in of these protests being used by right wing groups to incite hatred. Delhi Commission for Minorities raised the issue with the Delhi Police. In a letter to commissioner Amulya Patnaik, the panel chairperson, Zafarul Islam Khan charged that there have been “attacks on Kashmiris, even on ordinary Muslims, in various parts of the country in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Pulwama.”Pointing out that “even in Delhi attempts are being made to vitiate atmosphere and start riots,”Khan referred to the systematic manner in which these protests are being used to foment trouble.“Hindutva crowds are taking out rallies in Muslim areas and in front of Muslim homes in mixed population areas, raising provocative slogans,” he said in a letter to commissioner, demanding immediate action from the police.Khan cautioned that “unless Delhi Police is alert and proactive, riots will erupt like those in Jammu city for instance.” He urged Patnaik to “order all police stations in Delhi to be alert, proactive and responsive to the need to keep peace and amity at all costs.” Thewire
Violence against Kashmiris: Whose purpose do mobs serve:Omar Abdullah
Srinagar:Kashmir is not just a piece of land, it is the people that inhabit it, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah asserted, saying by attacking Kashmiris, they were being told there is no place for them outside the Valley and no future in the mainland. “Young Kashmiri students studying outside J&K should have been feted as examples of people who have stayed away from the politics & conflict in Kashmir, choosing instead to make a future for themselves. By attacking them, terrorising them & forcing them to find shelter they are being told there is no place for them outside the valley & no future in the mainland (sic),” Abdullah tweeted.Abdullah and whose purpose was being served by “ostracising Kashmiris”.thehindu
Doubt Jaish’s ability to do this, India needs a scapegoat: Pakistan minister
New Delhi :Terming the terror attack in Pulwama as an “unfortunate incident”, Pakistan’s Information and broadcasting minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said that government is “taken aback” by the incident.In an exclusive conversation with Indian Express, Chaudhry said that organisations like Jaish-e-Mohammad are “dead” and seriously doubted their ability to carry out an attack of this scale.“These organisations are dead, I seriously doubt their ability to do something like this. They are well under control,” he said.He also said that this govt in Pakistan and Pak military are “very close to each other”, and the military is supportive of the govt’s peace process.“This Imran Khan govt and military are very close to each other, and I have no doubt that military is supportive of the government’s peace process,” he said.“Even as an observer, not as a minister, I think this (that Pakistan govt is involved) is unlikely. Pakistan has nothing to do with it (the terror attack,” he said.Chaudhry, who’s a close confidant of Imran Khan, started the conversation by saying, “This is an unfortunate incident, and this has strengthened the anti-peace lobby in the 2 countries.”“We have concluded a visit of UAE Crown Prince, we are going to have Saudi Crown Prince’s visit, we are trying to normalise the relationship with India, we are working towards peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan…frankly, to cut the long story short — we are trying to come out of the economic mess,” Chaudhry said.“We couldn’t have expected a more sad timing for this incident…We are taken aback,” he said, expressing shock over the incident.“Even before taking oath, Imran Khan had said that we are ready to take two steps, if India takes one step forward…We were criticised by the anti-India lobby in Pakistan,but we went all the way…par tali do haathon se bajti hai (it takes two hands to clap),” he said.“We are not getting the right kind of response,” he said.“India needs to look inward. Putting blame outside is the easier way out. A segment of the Indian leadership is blaming external actors and not looking inward, about what is happening in Kashmir, so many people are dying,”he said.“And the kind of warmongering that is happening, we are not ready for it,” he said. “We really wanted that after the elections, the relationship will get better, but this incident has taken place,” he said.When asked about Jaish’s involvement, he said that “there are about 60 Jaish outfits here and all these groups are connected”. “For India, the issue is to find a scapegoat…Toh Masood Azhar ko pakad lo…(so catch Masood Azhar).These organisations are dead, I seriously doubt their ability to do something like this, they are well under control.”“We understand that the environment in Pak gets hostile, when blasts happen, people are angry, especially with Afghanistan and there is overreaction here as well. But the political leadership needs to act calmly. But for political leaders, elections are very important,”he says, alluding to India’s polls. indianexpress
Pulwama attack: Pak not aware of India’s decision to withdraw MFN status, says top trade official
Islamabad :A day after India initiated strong economic action against Pakistan in the wake of the deadly Pulwama terror attack, a senior official from the neighbouring country on Sunday claimed that there was no official word about the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to it from India.Speaking to GEO News, Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said, “We are looking into the withdrawal of the MFN status by India. We can speak to India about this issue”.Dawood added that Pakistan can raise the issue at various forums, including the World Trade Organisation as both countries are members of the global trade body. Two days ago, Dawood had told PTI that they won’t make any “emotional decision” and will respond to the move after due deliberation. “India has removed us from the list of MFN nations but we will not make any emotional decision and will issue a response after making due thinking,” he had said.PTI
India hikes customs duty to 200 per cent on all goods imported from Pakistan:ET
India on Saturday hiked the customs duty on all goods imported from Pakistan to 200% with immediate effect, a day after it revoked the most favoured nation (MFN) status that it had given its neighbour in 1996.“Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200% with immediate effect. #Pulwama,” finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted on Saturday.The move is likely to hit Pakistan’s exports to India which were $381 million in the April-Nov period compared with $489 million in all of FY18. India’s major imports are fruits and nuts, gypsum, sulphur, finished leather, ores, mineral oils and cement.
Pakistan Army, foreign ministry website hacked; attack ‘originated from India’
New Delhi:The official website of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry and the Army were hacked on Saturday night and were inaccessible for users outside the country. The cyber attack is believed to have originated from India, Dawn quoted officials as saying. Even though the Foreign Ministry website was functioning without any hassles in Pakistan, spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said users from Netherlands, Australia, Britain and Saudi Arabia are unable to access it. “IT team is currently occupied in thwarting the hackers’ onslaught,” Dawn quoted Faisal as saying. indianexpress
Punjab: ‘Threatened by radical groups’, students head to shelter home
Mohali:2 days after Pulwama attack, several Kashmiri students who were allegedly harassed and threatened by radical groups in Dehradun left for Landran in Punjab’s Mohali. J&K Students Organisation (JKSO) prepared a shelter home (a cluster of rented flats where Kashmiri students live) in Landran to accommodate students from Uttarakhand and other regions. JKSO chief Khwaja Itrat said, “We received information from Kashmiri students studying in Dehradun that some radical outfits had threatened them. A few of them wanted to come back to a safe and secure environment. We have enough accommodation for 70 to 80 students. Nasir Khuehami, spokesperson of JKSO, said, “Around 40 students have left for Chandigarh by road. They shall be staying with members of our organisation in Landran. Kashmiri students in Dehradun are in a state of fear following threats by some radical groups.”indianexpress
Pulwama attack fallout: Kashmiri students in Delhi fear for their security
New Delhi:Several Kashmiri students here said they were in a state of fear after reports of alleged harassment of Kashmiris following the Pulwama attack, even as police asserted that security had been enhanced in the national capital and they would ensure the safety of all citizens.A Kashmiri student from Jamia Millia Islamia, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Just the fact that one is a Kashmiri, irrespective of his ideology or leanings, is enough to put one’s life to risk. It is happening across the country.”JNU activist Shehla Rashid, who hails from Kashmir, said, “Throughout India, mobs are attacking Kashmiri students, verbally abusing them, asking for them to be expelled and filing false cases against them.”Anis Ahmed, a Kashmiri student at Delhi University, said, “We are not at all reacting on social media to any abuses which are being hurled at us even if we are being labelled as terrorists. Students who are staying on rented accommodations rather than hostels are even more scared about their safety”.PTI
Action against Valley students in many cities for ‘anti-national’ posts
New Delhi:Action was initiated against students from Kashmir in different institutions across the country for allegedly putting up anti-national posts on social media in the aftermath of the attack in Pulwama.NIMS University in Jaipur suspended 4 Kashmiri students for allegedly posting ‘anti national’ messages on WhatsApp related to the terror attack.In Bengaluru, Tahir Latief, 22, a student of Reva University in the city, was detained on Saturday morning in connection with a Facebook post where he allegedly uploaded video of the suicide bomber involved in the Pulwama attack and praised him for the attack.In Dehradun, a 19-year-old student from Kashmir was suspended from Alpine Institute of Management and Technology for allegedly posting a phot of a militant associated with Hizbul Mujahideen who was killed in an encounter with forces on Wednesday.In UP, 4 people were arrested in separate incidents from districts for allegedly raising pro-Pak slogans and posting social media comments in support of the Pulwama attack.In Ahmedabad, pharmaceutical firm Zydus Healthcare suspended its marketing executive of Srinagar for a Facebook post in which he allegedly called attack as the “real surgical strike”. indianexpress
Karnataka: Teacher held for hailing Pak over attack
Bengaluru:A woman teacher of a private school in Karnataka has been arrested for allegedly hailing Pakistan in the backdrop of the terror attack in J&K that, police said Sunday.Jilekha Bi of the school at Shivapura in Belagavi was arrested Saturday night after she posted a message on social media saying “Pakistan Ki Jay Ho”, they said. She is the second person to be arrested in the state over similar comments on  Pulwama attack. PTI
Guwahati college suspends teacher for remark on Pulwama attack
Guwahati:A private commerce college in Guwahati has suspended an assistant professor of English for posting “objectionable remarks” on Facebook regarding the attack in Pulwama.The college authorities said they suspended Papri Banerjee with immediate effect on Saturday after her social media post invited criticism and an FIR was lodged against her.In her Facebook post on Friday, Ms. Banerjee said that the killing of CRPF men was a cowardly act that would “break the heart of any Indian”. But she indicated that the armed forces invited retaliation for maiming children, raping women and slaughtering their husbands. "Terrorism maybe Islamic but Karma is a very Indic concept,"she wrote.thehindu
Pulwama attack: AMU cautions Kashmiri students against moving out of campus
AMU has issued an advisory to Kashmiri students asking them “not to move out of campus” in the wake of protests in the city following the Pulwama attack, PTI reported on Sunday.On Saturday, Kashmiri students at the university, Dehradun and Haryana had complained of being harassed and threatened following the terror attack in South Kashmir.“The university authorities are maintaining constant vigil on law and order situation on the campus, especially in the wake of highly inflammatory social media posts emanating from the city,” AMU Proctor Mohsin Khan told PTI.scroll.in
Malegaon ex-MLA Mufti Ismail wants Muslim regiment in Army to take on Pakistan
Mumbai:Muslim cleric and former Malegaon MLA Mufti Ismail has called for a setting up of a special Muslim regiment in the Army to take on Pakistan. He also said that if the government accepts his demand, he will raise a force of 25,000 Muslim men who can be absorbed in this regiment.Ismail said: “What Pakistan has done is heinous and anti-Islamic. If this violence is being done in the name of Islam and Muslims, I would request the Indian government to help raise a Muslim regiment that will fight this battle against Pakistan.I personally will help in ensuring the recruitment of 25,000 Muslim men from Malegaon alone in this regiment.”Ismail had organised a protest in Malegaon on Friday to protest against the Pulwama attack. The cleric-turned-politician had shot into the limelight after the 2006 Malegaon blasts.
Will not let Assam become another Kashmir: Amit Shah on NRC
New Delhi :In the light of the deadly attack on a CRPF convoy in J&K, BJP chief Amit Shah while addressing a rally in Lakhimpur on Sunday raked up the issue of NRC,  and said that the Centre “will not allow Assam to become another Kashmir”.“We will not allow Assam to become another Kashmir. That is why we have brought NRC. We will deport each and every infiltrator with the help of NRC. We are committed to that,” he said.Promising that the sacrifices of the of the jawans would not go in vain, Shah firmly stated that the BJP-led NDA government is not ready to compromise on the security issue unlike its predecessor Congress.indianexpress
Pontiff defers Ayodhya march ‘in national interest’ after Pulwama attack
Prayagraj:Jyotishpeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati on Sunday called off his proposed march to Ayodhya ‘in national interest’ in view of the mood in the country following the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, convener of the proposed march Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati said.94-year-old pontiff had announced his plans on January 21 to march from his Kumbh Mela camp in Prayagraj to Ayodhya to perform foundation-laying ceremony for the construction of a Ram temple.Two days ago, the pontiff had moved to Varanasi from Prayagraj for treatment at BHU’s Sir Sunderlal Hospital after he complained of breathing trouble.HT
NDTV journalist faces harassment by right-wing supporters in London
An NDTV journalist on Sunday took to Twitter to allege how a group of Indians protesting against the Pulwama terror attack had harassed her in London. Radhika Iyer alleged that she was ‘hooted’ for working for NDTV.Her tweet read, “I was at a protest march by some Indians in London against the terror attack in J&K. I was interviewing some people, when the crowd cornered me. Hooted me for being associated with NDTV. A lady said ‘you cannot be here’. One man said ‘ if you are an Indian, say bharat mata Ki jai‘.”Her subsequent tweet read, “This was a protest by Indians and people of Indian origin in London. Against terrorism. When suddenly in the middle of it, the focus was on me and the media channel I am associated with. I felt cornered, vulnerable and isolated amidst so many of my own fellow Indians!”jantakareporter
OTHERS
Prince Salman’s visit to India a historic opportunity to strengthen ties: Saudi envoy
New Delhi:Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India presents a “historic opportunity” to expand collaboration in all sectors, Gulf country’s envoy here said on Sunday.Prince Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia’s defence minister, will arrive in India on February 19 on his first official visit. Counter-terrorism and energy security are expected to top the agenda for discussions during the trip.Besides holding talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu during his two-day visit.“Saudi Arabia and India share age-old ties of friendship that are deepening with each passing day. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India is highly anticipated and presents a historic opportunity to expand collaboration between our two friendly countries in all fields,” Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to India Saud Mohammad Al Sati said.PTI
Minority Coordination Committee Gujarat demand allocation of 5,900 cr for minorities ahead of interim budget
Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), Gujarat, has demanded that the state government should allocate ₹5,940 crore for the development of minorities, regretting, unlike Govt of India, Gujarat has no separate budget for them.In a letter sent to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani ahead of the interim budget session of the state assembly, MCC convener Mujahid Nafees said, this situation is there despite the fact that Gujarat has 11% population of minorities, of which 9.7% are Muslims, and total budget for 2018-19 was ₹1,825,000 crore.Insisting that the minorities are "very backward" and need "protection", Nafees said, a new department of minority affairs on lines of Centre should be created and it should be allocated ₹1,000 crore.nationalheraldindia
Hyderabad: Construction of Minority Residential School begins on waqf land; Board stalls process
Shamsabad: Illegal construction has begun on the land of Dargah Hazrat Syed Shahabuddin Soharwardi. The locals met Waqf Board Chairman Mohammed Saleem Mohammed Saleem and requested him to stop the construction and protect the Waqf land.Mohammed Saleem by taking immediate action directed executive officer Mohammed Shareef Khan and Saber Husain in charge and IA to inspect the site and stop the illegal construction.Both the officers visited the site and took stock of the situation. They learnt that building of Minority Residential School is being constructed on the waqf land. A water tank was also constructed under Mission Bhagirata in 2016 and now the land is being cleaned to construct the school building.The officers stalled the construction. A wall has been constructed at the place of foundation plaque.siasat
Bodh Gaya blast suspect arrested in Kolkata
 Kolkata police has arrested Ariful Islam, a suspect in last year's Bodh Gaya blast.Islam, 22, a resident of Panpara village in Assam's Barpeta, was apparently plotting a conspiracy for securing the escape of Kausar - one of the key accused in Burdwan's Khagragarh blast case of 2014 - from the Presidency Correctional Home (as jails are called in West Bengal).He was taken into custody from central Kolkata's Babughat area. Islam, who worked as a helper with truck drivers, came in touch with Jahidul Islam alias Kausar and Abdul Majid, who invited him to join the outfit.IANS
Mob smashes TMC MLA's vehicle, legislator seeks refuge in police station
Labhpur(WB) :Tension gripped Labhpur area in West Bengal's Birbhum district on Saturday as a mob smashed local TMC MLA Manirul Islam's vehicle and chased him, forcing him to take refuge in the local police station, police said.The incident comes days after the daughter of BJP leader Suprabhat Batyabyal was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint here.Girl's mother lodged a complaint at Labhpur police station after the alleged kidnapping on Thursday.Protesting against the incident and demanding immediate rescue of the girl, an angry mob resorted to vandalism in and around the area as she remained untraceable.At around 3 pm, the mob gheraoed Islam's vehicle at Indus village and pelted stones at it. MLA was rushed to safety by his security guards, the police said."When he reached the Labhpur police station, there too a mob started pelting stones," a police officer said.Later, Islam visited the girl's house and spoke to her family."I talked to the family members and assured that police are trying to find their daughter. We have already told police to act fast," he told PTI.PTI
Goa: Dressed as Muslim woman in burkha, 35-year-old man booked for entering ladies toilet
New Delhi :A 35-year-old state government employee was booked by police in Goa on Saturday, for dressing as a Muslim woman in a burkha. The accused had entered a ladies toilet at the central bus stand in Panaji. Identified as Virgil Fernandes, the accused was caught by the commuters, while exiting a ladies toilet at the bus stand, wearing a burkha and black head gear.Goa Police spokesperson said, "The accused has been booked under Section 419 (impersonation) for trying to impersonate a Muslim woman, in order to enter a ladies toilet at the Panaji bus stand." indiatv news
Tamil actor Simbu's brother Kuralarasan converts to Islam
Kuralarasan, the younger son of T Rajendar and brother of Tamil actor Silambarasan, has converted to Islam. A video of Kuralarasan embracing Islam in the presence of his dad T Rajendar and mom Usha has gone viral on social media. Kuralarasan acted in films like Alai and Sonaalthan Kadhala. He also turned composer for Pandiraj's film with Simbu called Idhu Namma Aalu.The conversion ceremony happened in a mosque in Anna Salai, Chennai.When asked about his son's decision, T Rajendar said, "'Tolerant of all religions' is my policy. So, I respect my son's decision."India Today
Bhopal: Ex-chairman, 2 others booked for causing loss of Rs 40 lakhs to board
Bhopal: A case of breach of trustagainst ex Chairman of MP Waqf Board Shaukat Mohammed Khan with the Shahjahanabad police. Two others posted at senior positions in Waqf Board have also been booked.SHO Shahjahanabad Shailendra Singh said that the accused had allegedly extended illegal favour in renting Waqf property at price below collector rate. It had led to loss of around 40 lakhs rupees to Waqf Board.In his complaint, Mohammad Ahmed Khan of Idgah Hills who is now the new CEO of Waqf Board stated that ex Chairman of MP Waqf Board Shaukat Mohammed Khan. freepressjournal
WORLD
Saudi crown prince arrives in Pakistan
Islamabad: Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman arrived in Islamabad today on a two-day official visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.Prime Minister Imran Khan, along with his Cabinet members, arrived at Noor Khan airbase to receive the Saudi crown prince. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa also reached the air base to extend warm welcome.Upon arrival, a historic welcome is to be given to the Saudi crown prince, widely known as "MbS", who is accompanied by a high-powered delegation, including members of Saudi Royal family, key ministers and leading businesspersons.Sources said that a 19-member, high-level delegation from Saudi Arabia reached Islamabad earlier today amid tight security.During his visit, Mohammad bin Salman will meet President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to sign a record investment package with Pakistan, including a $10 billion refinery and oil complex for the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea..geo.tv
Israel PM’s office leaks Saudi minister’s anti-Iran speech
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday leaked a video of a speech made by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir behind closed doors during this week’s Warsaw Conference.During video – which was likely taken by a mobile camera – Al-Jubeir said that the “destabilising activities of Iran makes it difficult to organise the region,”New Khalij reported. In the video, which was posted on Netanyahu’s YouTube channel before being quickly deleted, Al-Jubeir said: “Iranian regime has no morals because it targets diplomats and detonates embassies.” He continued by pondering who is supporting Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and then answered: “Iran destabilises the situation in a number of Arab countries.”The Saudi official said that Iran’s handover of ballistic missiles to “terrorist groups is unacceptable,” noting that the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen had launched more than 200 missiles towards Saudi Arabia.middleeastmonitor


Rouhani unveils Iran's cruise missile-equipped Fateh submarine
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has unveiled a "state-of-the-art" domestically produced submarine, which the defence ministry said is capable of firing cruise missiles.Rouhani is in the southern province of Hormozgan on Sunday to introduce the latest addition of the naval fleet.Dubbed the Fateh, or Conqueror, it is the country's first semi-heavy submarine, according to Mehr news agency.In his speech to thousands of supporters at the port city of Bandar Lengeh before the submarine launch, Rouhani warned against division in the country, saying that is the goal of Iran's enemies.aljazeera
Iranian FM Zarif says Israel 'looking for war'
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused Israel of "looking for war" and warned that its behaviour and that of the United States were increasing the chances of a clash in the Middle East."The risk [of war] is great. The risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law," Zarif said in an address at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.Zarif appeared to be referring to Israeli air attacks against Iranian targets in Syria.aljazeera
Iran summons Pakistan envoy after attack kills 27 security personnel near border
Iran on Sunday summoned the ambassador to Pakistan after a suicide bombing killed 27 of its Revolutionary Guards near the country’s border this week, Reuters reported. On Saturday, Iran had warned that Pakistan would pay “a heavy price” for allegedly harbouring the attackers who planned the incident.Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of supporting militant factions that attack Iranian forces. Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which claims to seek more rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran forces.“We will avenge the blood of our martyrs from the Saudi and UAE governments and ask the President (Hassan Rouhani) ... to leave our hands free more than ever for reprisal operations,” Reuters quoted Jafari as saying at the funeral of a soldier who was killed.Reuters
Hamas’ Haniyeh to conduct international tour
Senior Hamas leader Mohammad Nazzal has revealed that his movement is preparing for an international tour for its chief Ismail Haniyeh.Nazzal pointed to arrangements with Egypt to facilitate this, Al-Ray News Agency reported yesterday, reiterating that Egypt has pledged not to close the Rafah Crossing – the only civilian exit point from the besieged Gaza Strip – because Egypt is keen not to punish the Palestinian people.He also confirmed previous reports that Hamas is following up on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Egyptian jails, stating that the issue of four Palestinians kidnapped after while travelling through Rafah Crossing a couple of years ago is on top of Hamas’ agenda.middleeastmonitor
Take back over 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria, Trump tells European allies
Washington: President Donald Trump has demanded that the European nations take back more than 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial, warning that the U.S. otherwise will be forced to free the jihadists after it pulls out from the war-torn country.President Trump surprised the world by announcing in December that he was withdrawing 2,000 American troops from the war-torn Syria.He also warned the ISIS that America would hit them hard from nearby military bases if the terror outfit regains momentum.US-backed fighters are set to capture ISIS’s last tiny stronghold in Syria, bringing an end to its self-declared caliphate.“US is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them,”  Trump said on Saturday.President Trump warned that ISIS fighters could “permeate Europe” and called on European nations to “step up” efforts to put the prisoners on trial in their countries.PTI
Regime shelling kills 10 civilians in Syria's Idlib
Idlib:At least ten civilians were killed and 34 others injured by regime artillery shelling on residential areas in the country's northwestern Idlib province in the past 24 hours, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency on Sunday.  The shelling targeted 13 populated areas in the towns of Khan Shaykhoun and Marra al-Numan in Idlib's countryside, the White Helmets said.  Three children and four women were among those killed in the attacks, it added. White Helmets director in Idlib Mustapha Haj Yousuf warned of a "humanitarian catastrophe" over the ongoing regime attacks.  Anadolu Agency
IS  claims North Sinai attack, says 20 Egyptian troops killed
Islamic state has claimed responsibility for an attack in North Sinai on Saturday which it said killed 20 Egyptian military troops, the group's AMAQ news agency said.The Egyptian military said earlier on Saturday that seven militants had been killed and 15 Egyptian military personnel killed or wounded in the clash.Reuters

flash: views & NEWS

In Rafale deal, key players were kept out of the loop: P Chidambaram , indian express
War with Pakistan not an option for India, focus on Kashmiris:By GK Pillai, ET
Indian express Fact Check: Not CCTV clip of Pulwama blast, old footage from Iraq being pushed on social media
72 hours since Pulwama attack: All the steps that Modi govt has taken so far:Sibu Tripathi
Pulwama Aftermath: What’s Best for Modi May Not Be What’s Best for India:Sushil Aaron
Must journalists be the judge, jury and prosecutors at the same time?Ashis Ray
Ugly behaviour of divisiveness not good for India: Frank Islam on violence in AMU provoked by Arnab Goswami’s representatives
Pulwama Fallout: From Social Media to the Streets, Calls for Revenge Feed Political Agenda: Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta
Jamaat-e-Islami Expresses Grief Over Killing of CRPF Men in Pulwama
Jamaat-e-Islami denounces Pulwama attack: Indian Awaaz


Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:39 PM)

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