Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST (Early)
22 Aug. 2017: 29 Zulqidah 1438:Vol:8, No:262
In 3-2 verdict, SC strikes down instant triple talaq
New Delhi: In a 3-2 verdict, the Supreme Court Tuesday “set aside” the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat in which Muslim men divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession. Three of the five judges on the Constitution Bench — Justices Rohinton F Nariman, Uday U Lalit and Kurian Joseph — called the practice un-Islamic and “arbitrary” and disagreed with the view that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice. But the minority ruling of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer underlined the primacy of Muslim personal law and said the practice enjoyed constitutional protection and was beyond the scope of judicial scrutiny. They were of the view that Parliament should consider an “appropriate” law to deal with the issue of talaq-e-biddat.Justice Joseph, who disagreed that triple talaq had constitutional protection, reiterated the Shamim Ara ruling in which it was held that triple talaq lacked legal sanctity: “What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well.”The 395-page judgment, on a clutch of petitions challenging the validity of instant triple talaq, comprised three separate rulings — Chief Justice Khehar wrote for himself and Justice Nazeer, Justice Nariman for himself and Justice Lalit while Justice Joseph came out with his own order. The verdict was immediately welcomed by the Govt , political parties, activists and the petitioners, with PM  Narendra Modi hailing it as “historic” and saying it has granted equality to Muslim women. indianexpress
Triple talaq has stature equal to fundamental right:SC's Minority judgment
New Delhi : Contending that the practice of instant triple talaq was a constituent of the personal law and had a stature equal to other fundamental rights, the minority judgment of the Supreme Court on Tuesday held it as not violative of the Constitution and cannot invoke judicial intervention.However, it injuncted Muslim husbands from practicing instant divorce as a means of severing their matrimonial relationships for a period of 6 months subject to a legislative process being initiated in that period for making a law on the issue.Writing the minority judgment, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar said it would not be appropriate for this court to record a finding whether the practice of talaq-e-biddat is, or is not, affirmed by hadiths (Prophet's sayings) in view of the enormous contradictions in the hadiths relied upon by the rival parties."Talaq-e-biddat is integral to the religious denomination of Sunnis belonging to the Hanafi school. The same is a part of their faith, having been followed for more than 1,400 years, and as such, has to be accepted as being constituent of their 'personal law'."He rejected "the contention of the petitioners that the questions/subjects covered by Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, ceased to be 'personal law', and got transformed into 'statutory law', cannot be accepted"."Talaq-e-biddat does not violate the parameters expressed in Article 25 of the Constitution. The practice is not contrary to public order, morality and health. The practice also does not violate Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, which are limited to State actions alone."The practice of talaq-e-biddat being a constituent of personal law has a stature equal to other fundamental rights, conferred in Part III of the Constitution. The practice cannot therefore be set aside, on the ground of being violative of the concept of the constitutional morality, through judicial intervention."The minority judgment observed that the whole nation seems to be up in arms and that there was seemingly an overwhelming majority of Muslim women, demanding that the practice of talaq-e-biddat "which is sinful in theology, be declared as impermissible in law"."Union of India has also participated in the debate. It has adopted an aggressive posture, seeking the invalidation of the practice by canvassing that it violates the fundamental rights enshrined in Part III of the Constitution and by further asserting that it even violates constitutional morality."During the course of hearing, the issue was hotly canvassed in the media. Most of the views expressed in erudite articles on the subject, hugely affirmed that the practice was demeaning. Interestingly even during the course of hearing, learned counsel appearing for the rival parties, were in agreement, and described the practice of talaq-e-biddat differently as, unpleasant, distasteful and unsavoury. The position adopted by others was harsher, they considered it as disgusting, loathsome and obnoxious. Some even described it as being debased, abhorrent and wretched."The judges said that they had arrived at the conclusion that talaq-e-biddat is a matter of 'personal law' of Sunni Muslims belonging to the Hanafi school."It constitutes a matter of their faith. It has been practiced by them, for at least 1,400 years. We have examined whether the practice satisfies the constraints provided for under Article 25 of the Constitution, and have arrived at the conclusion, that it does not breach any of them. We have also come to the conclusion, that the practice being a component of 'personal law', has the protection of Article 25 of the Constitution."The judgment said that religion is a matter of faith, and not of logic and it was not open to a court to accept an egalitarian approach, over a practice which constitutes an integral part of religion."The Constitution allows the followers of every religion to follow their beliefs and religious traditions. The Constitution assures believers of all faiths, that their way of life, is guaranteed, and would not be subjected to any challenge, even though they may seem to others (-and even rationalists, practicing the same faith) unacceptable, in today's world and age. The Constitution extends this guarantee, because faith constitutes the religious consciousness, of the followers. It is this religious consciousness, which binds believers into separate entities. The Constitution endeavours to protect and preserve, the beliefs of each of the separate entities, under Article 25."We cannot accept the petitioners' claim because the challenge raised is in respect of an issue of 'personal law' which has constitutional protection."The judges said it was not for a court to determine whether religious practices were prudent or progressive or regressive."Religion and 'personal law' must be perceived, as it is accepted, by the followers of the faith. And not, how another would like it to be (-including self-proclaimed rationalists of the same faith). Article 25 obliges all Constitutional Courts to protect 'personal laws' and not to find fault therewith. Interference in matters of 'personal law' is clearly beyond judicial examination. The judiciary must therefore, always exercise absolute restraint, no matter how compelling and attractive the opportunity to do societal good may seem."The judges said the stance adopted by the Union Govt  supports the petitioners' cause and observed: "Unfortunately, the union seeks at our hand, what truly falls in its own".Referring to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board affidavit in which it has undertaken to issue an advisory through its website to advise those who enter into matrimonial alliance to agree in nikah naama that their marriage would not be dissolvable by talaq-e-biddat, they said even the AIMPLB is on board to assuage the petitioners' cause."In view of the position expressed above, we are satisfied that this is a case which presents a situation where this court should exercise its discretion to issue appropriate directions under Article 142 of the Constitution. We therefore hereby direct, the Union of India to consider appropriate legislation, particularly with reference to talaq-e-biddat."We hope and expect that the contemplated legislation will also take into consideration advances in Muslim 'personal law and shariat, as have been corrected by legislation the world over, even by theocratic Islamic States. When the British rulers in India provided succour to Muslims by legislation, and when remedial measures have been adopted by the Muslim world, we find no reason, for an independent India, to lag behind. Measures have been adopted for other religious denominations even in India, but not for the Muslims. We would therefore implore the legislature, to bestow its thoughtful consideration, to this issue of paramount importance. We would also beseech different political parties to keep their individual political gains apart, while considering the necessary measures requiring legislation.Till such time as legislation in the matter is considered, we are satisfied in injuncting Muslim husbands, from pronouncing 'talaq-e-biddat' as a means for severing their matrimonial relationship. The instant injunction, shall in the first instance, be operative for a period of six months. If the legislative process commences before the expiry of the period of six months, and a positive decision emerges towards redefining talaq-e-biddat as one, or alternatively, if it is decided that the practice of 'talaq-e-biddat' be done away with altogether, the injunction would continue, till legislation is finally enacted. Failing which, the injunction shall cease to operate."IANS
Supreme Court Bars Triple Talaq, Asks Parliament To Make A Law
 AIMPLB says SC Triple talaq verdict ‘huge victory’ as it protects Muslim personal law
New Delhi: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the apex body of Muslim clerics that opposes the ban on triple talaq, welcomed Tuesday’s Supreme Court judgement saying it “accords” protection to Muslim personal laws.The top court struck down the controversial Islamic instant divorce law as arbitrary and unconstitutional on Tuesday.“ We as a representative body, welcome the judgement of Supreme Court since it accords the protection to Muslim personal law and says that personal laws cannot be tested on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights. The majority (comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and justice Abdul Nazeer with Justice Kurian Joseph agreeing) has accorded personal laws the status of fundamental rights being protected under the right to practice religion contained in Article 25,” the Board said in an official statement. “This is a huge victory for us as the judgement vindicates our stand and ensures that fundamental rights of citizens of this country to freely practice and profess their religious beliefs,” it said.As far as talaq-e-biddat is concerned we had already submitted to the court that the practice, though has basis in religious texts and belief, is not the best way of pronouncing talaq,” the board said.“We ourselves have taken steps to discourage this practice through reform programmes and model form of Nikahnama issued by the Board,” it said.AIMPLB had on May 22, 2017 informed the court that about issuing instructions to clerics (who solemnise the marriage) to include the provision of excluding the triple-talaq in one sitting (tala-e-biddat) in the nikahnama (contract) at the time of wedding. It had also launched a signature campaign seeking non-interference in Muslim personal law. Board said in the morning that it will meet in Bhopal on Sept.10 to discuss the Supreme Court verdict striking down instant triple talaq and chalk out its strategy“The SC verdict cannot be misused by the Govt  to try to interfere with personal laws through legislation,” the statement said. HT
AIMPLB’s women’s wing says triple talaq judgement contradictory, fractured
The women’s wing of the AIMPLB termed as “contradictory” and “fractured” the judgement of the Supreme Court.Asma Zehra, the chief organiser of the women’s wing, told IANS in Hyderabad that the judgement is confusing.She said that while they respect the judgement, they do not appreciate interference in the Muslim personal law as right to religious freedom is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution.She said she also believed that the legislation on the issue could open doors for interference in the Muslim personal law.Noting that the practice was already vanishing in the Muslim community, she said the judgement will have very little impact on society.Zehra claimed that triple talaq does not always work against women. “Many a time it is an exit mechanism to relieve women from unsuccessful and troublesome marriages.”“Talaq is a non-issue and divorce rate is the least in the Muslim community. Muslims have divorce rate of only 0.5% whereas it is 1.64% in the Hindu community,” she said.Condemning politicisation of the issue, she said: “The ruling party, the fringe elements and the so-called Muslim women organisations who had initiated this media campaign and movement against triple talaq couldn’t get much out of the judgement.”According to her, the first part of the judgement is in favour and supportive of Muslim personal law while in the second part, two judges stated that this practice cannot be protected under Article 25.She said Chief Justice Khehar and Justice Nazeer stated that only the issue of “talaq-e-biddat needs re-examination”.“Article 25 is a fundamental right and it cannot be set aside on ground of judicial morality. International convention and practices of other countries are of no avail as practice of triple talaq is protected by Article 25,” Zehra said quoting the two judges.HT, AGENCIES  
AIMPLB calls for executive meet to deliberate on triple talaq judgment
Verdict contradictory, fractured:AIMPLB's women's wing
SC Verdict Our Huge Victory As It Accords Status of Fundamental Right To Muslim Personal Law: AIMPLB 
Govt  rules out need for new law on triple talaq
New Delhi: The govt virtually ruled out the need for a new law on triple talaq, the practice of which has been rendered as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, indicating that existing laws, including the one dealing with domestic violence, were sufficient. "The Govt  will consider the issue in a structured manner. A prima facie reading of the judgement makes it clear that the majority has held it (triple talaq) as unconstitutional and illegal," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. He was responding to a series of questions by reporters as to whether the Govt  would bring out a law against triple talaq as favoured by two judges, including Chief Justice of India J S Khehar. "After the SC order, if a husband gives instant triple talaq, it will not be considered valid. His obligation towards the marriage will remain... the wife is also free to drag such a person to police and file a complaint of harassment or domestic violence," the functionary said, indicating penal provisions are present to check the practice. economictimes
Law panel to study triple talaq order before writing report on uniform civil code
New Delhi: Law Commission is set to burn the midnight oil in the coming days to examine the Supreme Court order on triple talaq as it will provide a guideline to the panel in drafting its report on the uniform civil code, a senior functionary said on Tuesday. The law panel will also ascertain whether the verdict striking down the practice of triple talaq can shed light on what personal law is according to the constitution bench.It will also seek answers on the issue of religious faith and religious practice in 400-page order. Once the report is ready in the coming months, the Govt  will place it before an all-party meeting to decide on the future course of action.The panel, which advises the Govt  on complex legal issues, will now involve various stakeholders for discussion to complete its report on the common code. It has already received thousands of written views on the common code.PTI
Triple talaq verdict will help BJP implement Uniform Civil Code?indiatoday
New Delhi:BJP has reasons to cheer over the Supreme Court's landmark judgment today holding instant triple talaq "void, illegal and unconstitutional". Not just because the judgment would help the BJP derive electoral mileage but also because it helps the ruling party move towards fulfilling one of its important promises - of bringing about a Uniform Civil Code. Uniform Civil Code was discussed in BJP's manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Page 41 of the manifesto said: "Article 44 of the Constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code. Striking down instant triple talaq in itself will not help the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code. However, it would surely help push BJP to move in that direction. After the triple talaq case, which has been decided today, two other contentious issues of polygamy and nikah halala are pending before the Supreme Court.The BJP did not have to take the legislative route to fulfil its promise. The orders of the courts have certainly helped the ruling party. In the triple talaq case, the Supreme Court has asked Parliament to legislate a law against triple talaq.Various courts, through their judgments, have stressed the precedence of secular laws over personal and religious codes.The system of different personal laws for different religions is a colonial legacy. The British implemented criminal and civil laws for all Indians but did not touch personal laws because religion was a sensitive issue.However, with BJP and PM  Narendra Modi promising gender justice and equality, and courts deciding on cases pertaining to them, the country is moving towards having a Uniform Civil Code.
 Victory For Muslim Women: Muslim Women, Shia Law Boards welcome Triple Talaq Verdict
New Delhi: Muslim Women Personal Law Board and the All India Shia Personal Law Board today welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on triple talaq, terming it as a victory of Islam and Muslim women in the country."The Supreme Court decision is historic, it is the victory of women in the country. But more than that, it is the victory of Islam," said the president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber, who has been fighting for the rights of Muslim women. "We hope that triple talaq will be banned once and for all in times to come," she said, adding it causes immense hardships to Muslim women even though "there is no provision of triple talaq in Islam".Asking the Govt  to enact a new law without harming the Sharia, she hoped that a new legislation will be brought without any pressure to ensure welfare and prosperity of Muslim women. All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas too welcomed the decision, saying it will help end harassment of Muslim women in the name of triple talaq.PTI
National Conference calls Triple talaq verdict an interference in Muslim affairs
Ex-minister from J&K  and National Conference leader, Mustafa Kamal, said that triple talaq has often been misused against women and SC verdict is an interference in religious matters of Muslims and the issue should have been addressed at the societal level, BJP unit in Kashmir has welcomed the verdict. NC leader, Mustafa Kamal "As far as J&K is concerned the law can be extended only if it is passed by Assembly or Govt brings an ordinance, Kamal said. He said that nevertheless the practice has been misused mostly by Arab Muslims who come to southern states of India and marry and divorce women at their whims. oneindia
Govt trying to use judiciary as shield on triple talaq:NCP
NCP claimed the Supreme Court's verdict on triple talaq is a blow to the "plans" of the Govt of "using the judiciary as a shield" on the issue.The party also suggested that the Govt  could make a draft legislation and based on suggestions by parties, a law could be enacted on the issue."They (govt) did not want to lose a section of their vote bank by taking a decision over this contentious issue. Thus, they were seeking an escape route using the judiciary as a shield. But, the SC has dealt a blow to their plans," NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said." Govt should make a draft legislation and circulate it among all parties. Based on the suggestions and objections received, a law can be enacted," Malik said.PTI
‘CPM has always opposed ‘arbitrary nature’ of triple talaq’
Triple talaq verdict a milestone for women empowerment: Yogi Adityanath
SC has banned instant triple talaq, not triple talaq
Premature to make a complete observation on Supreme Court's verdict on triple talaq: Sanjay Jha, Congress
From PM Modi to Muslim personal law Board: Who said what on triple talaq
Triple talaq verdict updates: Jaitley says SC judgment a great victory and welcome step
Following India's logic on Doklam, if we enter in Kashmir there would be utter chaos in Leh region: China
Beijing on Tuesday said there will be "chaos" in the Leh region if they follow India's "ridiculous" logic and enter the Indian territory in Kashmir to disrupt construction projects along the LAC, which China perceives as a security threat."If we tolerate India's ridiculous logic, then anyone who dislikes the activity at his neighbour's home can break into his neighbour's house," foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying by HT."Does that mean when China thinks that largescale construction of infrastructure in the border area is posing a threat, it can enter India's territory? Wouldn't that be utter chaos?," Chunying added."So the fact is that the Indian side has illegally trespassed the boundary and violated the agreement on the boundary that has been recognised and abided by (for) over 130 years. So we urge the Indian side to take concrete actions and make positive moves to correct its wrongdoing," She said.She repeated China was committed to maintaining peace in the region. "China loves peace and firmly upholds peace," Chunying explained while adding they will safeguard their territorial integrity and sovereignty at all cost."We allow no country or any individual to infringe upon China's territorial sovereignty,"she asserted. ibtimes
Doklam stand-off: China snubs Rajnath's outreach, says there will be 'utter chaos' if their forces enter India
Chaos if China follows India's logic and enters Indian territory, says Beijing
India upholds controversial marriage annulment amid ‘love jihad’ inquiry: The Guargian
The Indian supreme court has upheld a decision to annul the marriage of a 24-year-old woman in Kerala and force her to live back at her parents’ house because she married a Muslim man.The woman, Akhila Ashokan, who prefers to be known as Hadiya, converted to Islam from Hinduism while studying medicine in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Last year, she met Shafin Jahan, a Muslim, and they married in December. Her livid father went to the Kerala high court demanding that Hadiya be returned to his custody.In May, the court nullified the wedding and forcibly sent Hadiya back to her parental home in Kottayam despite her express wish not to return. The controversial judgment said Hadiya was “weak and vulnerable, capable of being exploited in many ways” and that “her marriage being the most important decision in her life, can also be taken only with the active involvement of her parents”.On Wednesday, the supreme court ruled that India’s NIA, which investigates terrorism, must assess whether Hadiya converted freely to Islam or was part of a “love jihad” – a phrase used by some Hindu fringe groups to allege that Muslim men are forcing Hindu women into marriage.
An adult can marry across caste, colour or religion, no one can stop them: Kerala HC
HC defers verdict on Zakia Jafri’s plea seeking action against PM Modi, others in Gujarat riots case till 28 Aug
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court has deferred till Aug.28 its verdict on Zakia Jafri's application seeking investigation and action against then CM  Narendra Modi and others for allegedly hatching a conspiracy behind the 2002 riots. The court posed stinging questions to Supreme Court-appointed SIT.Zakia, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in Gulbarg Society massacre, challenged the metropolitan court's order passed in December 2013 upholding a clean chit from the SIT to Modi and 57 other politicians and bureaucrats. She has been demanding further investigation as well.On Monday, Justice Sonia Gokani sought various details from the SIT, with questions about what action was taken with regard to the application by sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt and Zakia's complaint. The court asked if the probe conducted on the SC's directions was a further investigation or a fresh investigation.The judge asked the SIT whether it placed probe papers before the trial court concerned and informed the SC about it. The judge also remarked that the order passed by the special court in the Gulbarg Society massacre case does not mention any such investigation.The court questioned whether the SIT investigated the allegations of a larger conspiracy, as leveled by Zakia in her complaint, with regard to other riots cases. The court has sought answers from SIT by Aug 28, sources said.Interestingly, SIT placed its probe report on Zakia's complaint before the trial court in a sealed cover under protest after the trial court directed it to do so. Timesofindia
GST pulls down India Inc net by 15.7 %  to Rs 87,475 crore in first quarter
Mumbai:India Inc profits dipped by 15.7 %  to Rs 87,475 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal, largely owing to destocking of goods by companies before execution of GST regime from July 1, said a report on Monday. According to an analysis of 2,108 companies by credit rating agency Care Ratings, the corporate net profits stood at about Rs 1.04 lakh crore in April-June period of 2016-17.Besides, net sales of companies slowed down to 8.7 %  in the three months ended June 2017, after registering a growth of 9.5 %  in the same period year-ago. “During the first quarter of 2017-18, all companies faced the heat of the uncertainties revolving around the implementation of GST by the Govt  as most companies were destocking goods before July 1 and operations were impacted quite markedly,” Care Ratings said.
TADA court to announce sentence in 1993 Mumbai blasts case on Sept.7
Mumbai:The special TADA court at Mumbai would announce the quantum of sentence of 5 convicts, including extradited gangster Abu Salem, in 1993 Mumbai blasts case on Sept.7. Judge G A Sanap had on June 16 convicted Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Tahir Merchant for their role in hatching the conspiracy for the blasts. Another accused, Abdul Kayuum, was acquitted. The court had concluded hearing on the quantum of punishment on Aug 10. Judge Sanap on Tuesday said he would pronounce the sentence on September 7.PTI
AIADMK merger: Dinakaran loyalists withdraw support to Palaniswami as DMK’s Stalin demands floor test
New Delhi:A day after the warring factions of AIADMK called truce and merged into one party, MLAs owing allegiance to jailed party secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran on Tuesday expressed their unhappiness over the decision and told the Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao that they no longer have the confidence in CM  K Palaniswami. “We are going to initiate efforts to bring in a new CM with the help of our supporting MLAs,” Dhinakaran supporter and Andipatti MLA Thanga Tamil Selvan told mediapersons after a meeting with Governor.Citing ‘unprecedented constitutional crisis’, principal opposition DMK shot off a letter to the Governor asking him to convene a special assembly. “In the wake of 22 MLAs withdrawing support for CM, we demand for a no-confidence motion,” said DMK treasurer MK Stalin. The DMK leader also took a jibe at PM  Modi, saying PM who delivered an anti-corruption speech on August 15 has helped merge “two corrupt factions” in Tamil Nadu. He was reacting to allegations that the alliance was brokered by BJP-led Central Govt . indianexpress
Trump rejects US pull-out from Afghanistan, warns Pak
 Ruling out a hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, President Donald Trump today issued the sternest warning yet by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in the war-ravaged country. Trump, in his first prime-time televised address to war- weary Americans as commander-in-chief, laid out his South Asia policy saying a "critical part" of it was to further develop US' strategic partnership with India. He said after a "comprehensive review", it was decided that the American strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically and American troops will "fight to win" America's 16-year conflict. PTI
Trump administration wants to engage India more effectively in Afghanistan: Mike Pence
Washington:The Trump administration wants to engage India more effectively in Afghanistan and hold Pakistan accountable for its actions in the region, US Vice President Mike Pence said. His comments came hours after President Donald Trump hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists. “We want to strengthen the partnership between Afghanistan and India. We want to hold Pakistan more accountable for their actions in the region,” Pence said. “What President Trump announced yesterday was a whole new strategy for South Asia that said, look, we’re going to provide the resources and the military personnel and the air assets necessary to support the Afghan army’s efforts to defeat the Taliban,” the Vice-President told Fox News.PTI
World reacts to Trump's new strategy on Afghan war
Afghanistan to become graveyard for US troops:Taliban responds to Trump's Afghan strategy: aljazeera
Afghan Taliban has warned Donald Trump is "wasting" American soldiers' lives after the US president approved sending thousands more troops to the war-ravaged country. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Afghanistan would become a "graveyard" for the US on Tuesday after dismissing Trump's strategy as vague and offering "nothing new"."If America doesn't withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century," he said.In his first formal address to the US as commander-in-chief, Trump backtracked from his election pledge to end the US' longest war that has dragged on for nearly 16 years.Since taking office in January, Trump said he has realised that withdrawing could create a vacuum for groups such as al-Qaeda and the ISIL to exploit.Though his speech was billed as an announcement of his updated Afghanistan policy, Trump offered few specific details.He did not, for example, provide a number of the additional troops that would be sent to the war.A senior Taliban commander told the AFP that Trump was perpetuating the "arrogant behaviour" of previous US presidents, such as George Bush."He is just wasting American soldiers.We know how to defend our country. It will not change anything."For generations, we have fought this war, we are not scared, we are fresh, and we will continue this war until our last breath."Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from the Afghan capital Kabul, said the Taliban was taking a very hard line to the president's speech." Taliban has made it clear they're committed to continue fighting the enemy and are in turn giving the US latitude to do so.
UN to release blacklist of firms operating in Israeli settlements
New York(PIC) Trump administration is urging the UN not to publish a blacklist of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, the Washington Post reported on Monday.According to the Washington Post, UN Human Rights Council voted to approve the database of companies last year, despite objections from the United States and Israel that described the list as a prelude to anti-Israel boycotts.American companies on the list drawn up by Geneva-based council include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor,, Airbnb and others, according to people familiar with it. It is not clear whether the list has been finalized.Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has told U.S. officials he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by Sept. 1 from countries where affected firms are headquartered, the same source added.Zeid,a Jordanian diplomat who was his country’s ambassador to the US, had agreed to one postponement this year, partly in response to a US request. He has indicated he plans to move ahead now, arguing that the list is a resource for consumers and travelers.In a statement Monday, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, called the council’s moves toward publication of the list “an expression of modern anti-Semitism.”In June, Zeid told the council that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 violates international law and “has denied the Palestinians many of their most fundamental freedoms, and has often been brutal.”
 US-led attacks 'kill 100 civilians' in 48 hours in Raqqa
At least 100 civilians have been killed over the past 48 hours by US-led air attacks targeting fighters in Raqqa, the de-facto capital of ISIL in Syria.Residents told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that at least 100 civilians had been killed since Sunday, with 55 civilians killed in the eastern neighbourhoods of Bedou and al-Sukhani on Monday.UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights  put Monday's death toll at 42, including 19 children and 12 women, and said 27 were killed on Sunday - a 2-day total of 69 people.The deaths came on the second consecutive day of a ferocious bombing campaign in Raqqa, more than half of which has been captured by US-backed SDF battling ISIL." Tolls are high because the air strikes are hitting neighbourhoods in the city centre that are densely packed with civilians," SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP."There are buildings full of civilians that are trying to get away from the front lines. US-led coalition, which operates in both Syria and neighbouring Iraq, says it takes all possible measures to avoid civilian casualties.UN estimates there are up to 25,000 civilians trapped inside the city, with food and fuel supplies short and prohibitively expensive. UN's humanitarian point man for Syria, Jan Egeland, has said ISIL-held territory in Raqqa city is now "the worst place" in the war-torn country. aljazeera
‘Unconstitutional’ Triple Talaq Set Aside: Read SC’s Full Judgment
Is the BJP’s Sudden Interest in Abolishing Triple Talaq Really About Empowering Muslim Women? Indu Agnihotri
You're not a Muslim when you're raped and killed, only when divorced: NADIM ASRAR
“Why host the UNHCR office if India doesn’t want to follow UN norms”:  DHAIRYA MAHESHWARI
‘Jan Gan Man Ki Baat’, Episode 104: Triple Talaq Verdict and BJP’s ‘Mission 2022’:Vinod Dua , THE WIRE
OPINION: Why Purohit Bail Will Make Modi Dependent on Hardliners in Sangh Parivar:Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay |
Saudi renews Iraq ties in bid to distance Iran
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 10:17 PM)

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