17 December 2018

17 Dec.ND: Assam NRC: ‘We fear the entire process is stoking ethnic tensions,’ UN spl Rapporteurs tell India/Centre tables triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha/ Muslim personal law board to challenge ordinance, bill on Ram temple and triple talaq in SC

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
17 Dec. 2018:09 Rabiul-II 1440: Vol: 11, No:77

Assam NRC: ‘We fear the entire process is stoking ethnic tensions,’ UN spl Rapporteurs tell India
United Nations special rapporteurs and the vice chairperson of a group on arbitrary detention have written to the Indian Govt  expressing concern about the National Register of Citizens in Assam.They had written to India’s Ministry of External Affairs in June as well, taking note of the “increased anxieties and concerns among the Bengali Muslim minority of Assam”. They had sought a response from the Govt  within 60 days, but it did not reply.In a letter, the experts said: “We are particularly concerned that the way in which the NRC update has been conducted potentially affects a great number of Muslims and persons of Bengali descent, as well as other minorities, who may be wrongfully excluded from the updated NRC because of their historical and continuing treatment as foreigners and illegal immigrants in Assam.”The final draft of the register, published on July 30, had left out nearly 40 lakh people, including some MLAs and a former CM . Those excluded will come under the purview of the Foreigners’ Tribunals and will have to prove their citizenship or face unlimited detention if they fail to do so. The claims and objections process is currently on, and will continue till Dec.31. Officials will begin to verify it from Feb. 15.“Furthermore, given the poor understanding and operationalisation of the ‘claims and objections’ period, as well as the relatively short deadline during which it has been undertaken, it appears that many of those perhaps unduly excluded from the list did not have a fair and adequate opportunity to challenge their exclusion,” the letter added.“Finally, finalisation of the NRC in the current form,has left much uncertainty for those excluded, including fears of losing citizenship, statelessness, as well as fears of indefinite detention, or even deportation.”They added: “In a region with very poor record-keeping, the current status of the verification process has the potential to create a massive category of people who are on Indian territory but cannot prove citizenship of either India or Bangladesh, thereby risking becoming stateless.” The experts said they were also scared that the process was “stoking ethnic tensions in a region that has already experienced a tumultuous history of identity-based tensions, and suffered from strained inter-communal relationships, including multiple outbreaks of serious violence”.The letter was written by Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Elina Steinerte, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on minority issues Fernand de Varennes and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance E Tendayi Achiume. They work under the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights.scroll.in
UN Special Rapporteurs Re-Emphasise Concern Over NRC in Second Letter to Indian Govt
Parliament: Centre tables triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day
Centre today introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 in Lok Sabha, ANI reported. On Sunday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had said that it would approach the Supreme Court if the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha.In Sept, the Union Cabinet had approved the Ordinance,  after failing to get Parliament to pass legislation on the matter. The ordinance criminalises the practice of Muslim men divorcing their wives by uttering the word “talaq” three times in any form – spoken, written, or via electronic communication. It also has a provision for a three-year jail term for men who violate the law.The bill has earlier faced stiff resistance in the Rajya Sabha. Several Opposition lawmakers called for it to be sent to a select committee for close scrutiny. Opposition parties led by the Congress had concerns about the jail term the bill proposed. Lok Sabha, which resumed proceedings at 3 pm after a ruckus involving the treasury and Opposition benches over the Rafale deal, passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, that was tabled by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.The Congress also moved a privilege motion in Lok Sabha against PM  Narendra Modi on the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal, PTI reported. During the Zero Hour, Mahajan said she was considering the matter.scroll.in
Muslim personal law board to challenge ordinance, bill on Ram temple and triple talaq in SC
Lucknow: All Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided that it will challenge any ordinance or bill brought by the Govt  supporting construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya or criminalising instant triple talaq, respectively, in the Supreme Court .The board's working committee that had held a meeting at Lucknow's Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama on the day, also said that it had constituted a committee that would reach out to all 'secular' political parties, against the instant triple talaq ordinance of the central Govt . AIMPLB has maintained that while the SC has said that instant triple talaq is invalid, provisions of the ordinance makes the 'invalid' offence punishable, which is anti-women. Board general secretary Syed Wali Rahmani said: “Although we discussed many issues relating to the community, including the  triple talaq and social security for women, our focus remained on the Babri Masjid case, which we are about to win.” "An ordinance lapses after a specified amount of time, unless it is approved by the Parliament. The board is hopeful, it will lapse before being presented in the Parliament, however if the Govt  does table a bill on it, we will challenge it in court," said AIMPLB member, SQR Ilyas. Addressing the media, he also said, "A committee has been formed, of which I too am a member, will be meeting all parliamentarians and heads of political parties except the BJP, to make them understand legal fallacies of the instant triple talaq ordinance and how it affects women and their families." The ordinance makes instant triple talaq a punishable offence with three year jail term for such a husband.  Board member, Zafaryab Jilani also said, "The board reiterates that any judicial verdict by the SC on the Babri Masjid dispute will be final for us." Talking about the board's efforts to spread awareness on Shariat laws within the community, executive member of the board, Dr Asma Zehra said, "We have been conducting awareness programs in a large number of rural as well as urban areas, having debates and discussions on marital issues within the community. We will now expand the same to people of other communities holding awareness programs for all communities in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Lucknow." The board also said that it had set up 14 new Darul qazas in the country, to work as advisory arbitration centers facilitating decision making in family issues. "Darul qazas have been working in tandem with courts and helping in taking off a bit of the court's load. More such Darul qazas will be coming up by the end of Dec,"said secretary, Umrain Mahfooz Rahmani. TOI
AIMPLB to oppose any Govt  move on Ram temple; to approach court against triple talaq bill
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/dec/16/aimplb-to-oppose-any-Govt -move-on-ram-temple-to-approach-court-against-triple-talaq-bill-1912366.html
Muslim law board questions temple law demand
‘Ram temple ordinance unlikely, BJP hasn’t discussed it with coalition,’ ally Paswan says
Lok Janshakti Party MP Chirag Paswan has said that he does not expect an ordinance on the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya as the ruling BJP had not discussed the matter with its alliance partners, reported Indian Express. Paswan’s party is a member of BJP-led NDA.In an interview with the daily, Paswan also said the construction of a Ram temple may be on one party’s agenda but is not so for NDA or the central Govt . When asked if his party would oppose an ordinance to facilitate the construction of the temple, Paswan said it was a “hypothetical situation”. “Our stand is clear – we will abide by any verdict given by the court,” he said. “As for the ordinance, I do not see it coming. BJP has not yet discussed this with alliance partners. I do not think the govt will bring an ordinance on it.”scroll.in
Temple is one party’s agenda, not for NDA or Govt, says ally Chirag Paswan
Demonetisation slowed India’s growth when world economy was growing: Raghuram Rajan
New Delhi:At a time when the world economy was growing, Demonetisation slowed down India’s economic growth and impacted GDP significantly, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had said in an interview with NDTV. Rajan said he saw studies which reaffirmed that banning of high-value current in late 2016 strongly affected India’s growth. “I think the net impression is that it (demonetisation) had a significant effect on our growth. And now, I have seen studies which reaffirm that. It has slowed down (our growth).“…the world (economy) was growing faster in 2017, we slowed down,” he said.Rajan further added that the implementation of GST also had an impact on the country’s economic growth.“That was the twin blow of demonetisation and GST (that impacted India’s growth). And before anybody accuses (me) of being anti-GST, it’s a good idea in the longer run, but it has a short-term teething effect,” Rajan noted.When questioned if he was asked to implement demonetisation during his tenure as RBI Governor,Rajan acknowledged he was asked for his opinion which he thought was a “bad idea.”Further expressing his views on GST, he said that the tax system could have been implemented in a much better manner and that “it is a matter of debate” whether GST should have one rate instead of five different slabs.Speaking on bad loans and fraudsters, Rajan said that he had a list of the largest frauds which was sent to PMO. “I’m unaware of where those cases stand….The reason I’m worried is if one gets away with immunity then others may follow,” he said on the list of fraud cases he had flagged to PMO.“RBI set up a fraud monitoring cell when I was Governor to coordinate the early reporting of fraud cases to the investigative agencies. I also sent a list of high profile cases to the PMO urging that we coordinate action to bring in at least one or two to book. I am not aware of progress on this front. This is a matter that should be addressed with urgency,” Rajan has said in his report earlier.He also said that a defaulter is different from a fraudster. “If you start putting defaulters in jail then nobody will take any risk,” Rajan added.indianexpress
Rajan to NDTV: ‘India must protect its institutions; investors need faith in rule of law’
Modi govt’s pressure on RBI could undermine India’s financial stability: S&P Global
Indian Govt 's "sustained and intense" pressure on RBI could "undermine" the hard-fought improvements in the banking system over the past few years as well as the long-term financial stability in the country, Standards and Poors (S&P) Global Ratings warned on Monday.In particular, S&P Global Ratings views as credit negative the circumstances leading to the recent resignation of the former RBI Governor Urjit Patel and the appointment of New RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das."We await any changes to banking system regulation at the next RBI board meeting in January 2019,” said the agency, days after Patel resigned as Governor of RBI amid talk of a face-off with the govt over autonomy and independence of the central bank.At this time, it sees no material change in the central bank's level of independence, especially with regards to its adoption and implementation of prudent policy."RBI has traditionally shown greater independence than many regional peers, and a robust institutional culture. But sustained and intense external pressure from the Indian Govt  risks eroding these settings over time and could also undermine the long-term financial stability in the country," said S&Pnationalheraldindia
Dip in jobs, profits for MSMEs; noteban, GST to blame: Industry body's Survey
Chennai:Traders and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the country have reported steady job loss and declining profits since 2014 and demonetisation, roll-out of GST are among the reasons for the slowdown, according to a new survey by the All India Manufacturers’ Organisation (AIMO).AIMO survey, which analysed 34,700 samples from traders and MSMEs across the country revealed that these sectors suffered major setbacks in terms of its performance on various business aspects since 2014. AIMO represents over 3 lakh micro, small-scale, and medium and large scale industries engaged in manufacturing and export activities. While job loss was reported at the rate of 43% in the trader segment, micro-segments reported job losses of 32%,small segments reported 35% and medium-scale industries reported 24% job losses.The survey, according to AIMO raises several red flags about the critical condition of traders and MSMEs and should serve as a reminder to Centre of the need for its attention “with a lot more seriousness and urgency” to revive the sector. K E Raghunathan, president of AIMO, said that the survey reveals that the operational profits of traders across the country have dropped drastically by about 70% since 2014.“Micro industries show a 43% drop in operational profits, small-scale industries report a dip of 35% and medium scale industries faced a drop of 24%. This is huge, this deserves immediate attention as many sectors within these traders and MSMEs have already gone down beyond a revival,” he said.Indian Express
Industry body says traders, MSMEs lost 35 lakh jobs since 2014, names demonetisation among reasons
Rafale deal: Congress urges Supreme Court to recall judgement, issue contempt notice to Centre
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has urged the Supreme Court to recall its recent judgement refusing to order an inquiry into the Rafale deal, alleging that the Centre had provided false information to the judges, PTI reported. Sharma urged the top court to issue contempt of court and perjury notices to the Govt .“[The] Govt  misled the Supreme Court to get a manipulated judgement and when this glaring error came to notice, they told the Supreme Court couldn’t understand English language,” he said. “Therefore we demand that the SC immediately recall this judgement, which is void.”On Friday, the top court had rejected all petitions seeking an investigation into the Govt ’s procurement of Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation. The court said the material on record did not show any favouritism, and that it was satisfied that the process for procurement had been complied with. Congress, however, pointed out that a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India mentioned by the judgement does not exist. The verdict had said the report had been examined by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. But, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the committee, said he had not been given any report by CAG. Congress then questioned the basis of the judgement and alleged that the BJP-led Govt  had submitted incorrect information to the court. The party demanded that the BJP apologise to the top court for misleading it.scroll.in
Rafale row: SC must recall judgment:Anand Sharma
HC convicts Sajjan Kumar for life in 1984 Sikh riots case:  Judges cite other riots, rues ‘political patronage’ behind mass killings
New Delhi:As the Delhi High Court convicted and sentenced to life senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Division Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel cited several instances of mass killings in the country whose perpetrators are yet to be brought to justice.The court said the 1984 riots, in which 2,733 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone and nearly 3,350 all over the country, was neither the first instance of a mass crime nor tragically the last. “There has been a familiar pattern of mass killings in Mumbai in 1993, in Gujarat in 2002, in Kandhamal, Odisha in 2008, in Muzaffarnagar in UP in 2013,” the court said in its 207-page judgment.Stressing that the common link in all the above mass crimes was the targeting of minorities spearheaded by dominant political actors in connivance with law enforcement agencies, the HC observed that bringing such criminals to justice was a serious challenge to the legal system. “The criminals responsible for the mass crimes have enjoyed political patronage and managed to evade prosecution and punishment. As these appeals themselves demonstrate, decades pass by before they can be made answerable. This calls for strengthening the legal system,” the HC said. These mass killings, the court said, highlighted an important loophole in the legal system — that neither crimes against humanity nor genocide is part of our domestic law of crime.indianexpress
Afrazul murder:SC seeks explanation from Rajasthan on accused reportedly uploading videos from jail
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has sought an explanation from Rajasthan Govt  whether Shambhu Lal Raigar, who had allegedly hacked and burned alive a Muslim labourer in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, had uploaded videos while being lodged in Jodhpur jail.A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah asked Rajasthan Govt  to apprise it whether Raigar uploaded video from jail and if so, "how was it possible". The bench has also issued a notice to Raigar for his response to a plea of the victim's widow who has sought transfer of the accused from Jodhpur jail to Tihar jail in the national capital.The bench in its order has said: "The state shall, in particular, explain whether a video was uploaded from within the jail premises by the newly added respondent and, if so, how that was possible."The apex court was hearing the petition filed by Gulbahar Bibi, the widow of Afrazul Khan, who was allegedly killed by Raigar. She has sought transfer of Raigar to Tihar jail and a CBI probe into her husband's murder.Raigar is accused of hacking and burning alive Afrazul, 50, from West Bengal on December 6 last year. Khan's murder was recorded on camera by Raigar's minor nephew.ANI
Gehlot, Nath, Bhagel sworn in as CMs, loan waiver order passed in Madhya Pradesh
Congress formed its Govts in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on Monday. The day started with the swearing in of Ashok Gehlot as Rajasthan CM with Sachin Pilot as his deputy. Among those, who attended the swearing in function were Congress President Rahul Gandhi, NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, AP CM N. Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham’s MK Stalin. These leaders later travelled to Bhopal to witness the swearing in of Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh CM . The event followed some heart-warming visuals of former CM  Shivraj Singh Chouhan raising the hands of Kaml Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.Another striking visual from Rajasthan was when the outgoing CM Vasundhara Raje hugging her nephew Jyotiraditya Scindia as he arrived in Jaipur to take part in Gehlot’s oath taking function. Soon after being sworn in as the state’s new CM , Kamal Nath signed the order to waive off farmers’ loan. This was a promise that the Congress had made during the election campaign.In Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel’s swearing in ceremony was postponed due to incessant rain. The venue of his oath taking ceremony was changed from Science College ground to Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium in Raipur, due to continuous rainfall. jantakareporter
MP: CM Kamal Nath keeps manifesto promise, signs farm-waiver files
Gehlot’s swearing-in turns into a Scindia family reunion, Vasundhara hugs nephew Jyotiraditya in a ‘heart warming’ gesture
Stalin proposes Rahul as PM candidate for 2019, leaves many in Opposition surprised
Leading A show of Opposition strength featuring Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and the CM of Kerala and AP, DMK chief MK Stalin proposed the name of Rahul as the PM ial candidate for 2019 Lok Sabha polls to take on what he called the “destructive governance” of BJP-led NDA govt. Addressing a massive rally in Chennai to unveil the statue of his father, K Karunanidhi, Stalin recalled how the late DMK founder had “wholeheartedly welcomed” Indira Gandhi in 1980 and Sonia Gandhi in 2004 “to take crucial political positions”.Inviting Rahul to take up the responsibility, Stalin said: “We will install a new PM in Delhi, and I propose the candidature of Rahul Gandhi from Tamil Nadu.” Asking Rahul to give the nation “good governance” and “defeat the fascist” NDA Govt , Stalin appealed to all Opposition parties to strengthen the hands of Congress president and “save the nation”.In Delhi, however, Stalin’s call caught many in the Opposition by surprise. Sources said that other parties, such as SP, BSP, TMC and NCP, harbour reservations over declaring a PM candidate so early on. “Who will be PM is a question we should answer after Lok Sabha results are in,” said an Opposition leader. Indian express
Maldives Prez Solih calls India ‘our closest friend’
The new president of the Maldives has called India the island nation’s “closest friend,” welcome words for New Delhi after years of growing economic influence by Beijing. Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih spoke Sunday in New Delhi, on his first overseas trip since his election. In September he defeated strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who had forged increasingly closer ties to China during his five years in office.India has long seen the Indian Ocean nation of 400,000 people as part of its sphere of influence. China, though, sees the Maldives as a key cog in its “Belt and Road” infrastructure projects, which follow ancient trade routes through the Indian Ocean and Central Asia. Beijing is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in an airport expansion, housing developments and other projects in the Maldives.But speaking at an India-Maldives business forum, Solih told business leaders that “India is not only our closest friend, it is also our largest trading partner,” the Press Trust of India news agency reported.AP
Researchers Question Minority Scholarship Criteria
New Delhi: Latest UGC notification on research fellowships for minority candidates has run into trouble after several researchers and student organisations raised questions about the criteria advertised by the Commission. The researchers questioned UGC's logic for making NET as criteria in general and its 'Dec.2017 and June 2018' exams in specific for the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) awards.UGC, higher education regulator, has in last week invited applications for awarding 1,000 MANF scholarship for minority students for the academic year 2018-19 after an interval of 2 years.An earlier notification by the Commission has fixed qualifying NET as criteria for the fellowship.Nahas Mala, president of a student body, said all criteria regarding MANF scholarship indicate UGC's arrogance and minority students felt humiliated by this notification. "As per new notification, only those who qualified net in Dec. 2017 and June 2018 only can apply. Many scholars who have qualified in earlier net exams will face trouble,"Nahas from Students Islamic Organisation said."What is the logic behind making UGC NET Dec.2017/June 2018 as the criteria to apply for the fellowship? What mistake has been done by those who had qualified it in the previous time?," a research scholar from JNU who is planning to apply asked. Nahas also added that the organisation will continue its struggle with its earlier demand of increasing the number of fellowships to 3,000 and the demand for dismantling the criteria of CBSE-UGC NET for MANF.ndtv
Serious under-representation of minorities in Govt services in Delhi: Minority panel's annual report
New Delhi:Constitutionally recognized religious minorities – Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi – constitute around 20% of population in Delhi, but they are facing “serious under-representation in Govt  services”, reveals the annual report 2017-18 of Delhi Minorities Commission. “Their representation in Govt  services is below 5% in most services,” says the 152-page report released by panel’s head Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan here on Friday. Among them, the share of Muslims is worse given their share (12.86%) in population.Both in big departments and small ones, the under-representation of religious minorities is “pathetic”. For example, the Delhi Police has 75,681 personnel against the sanctioned posts of 88,823 in the year 2017-18. Only 2,885 personnel were from the minorities, that is (3.81%) of the present strength of the Delhi Police.The report reveals that there has not been much change in the conditions of Minorities including Muslims despite much-touted PM ’s 15-point Program and Sachar Report. Their conditions remain pathetic irrespective of which party is in power in Delhi. Since February 2015, AAP is in absolute power in Delhi and for 15 years before 2015, Congress was in power.After Delhi Police, the biggest employer is Delhi Metro with 12,118 personnel. Among them, there are 475 (3.92%) employees from religious minorities.  India Tomorrow
Probe blows lid off women shelter homes: ‘congested jails, mentally ill rolling on floor’
New Delhi:A “Congested prison” in West Bengal; mentally ill women “found rolling on the floor” in UP; an HIV patient who is not receiving any medication in Odisha; a shelter home that exists only on paper in Karnataka’s Bengaluru.These are some of the findings of a probe conducted by the National Commission for Women (NCW) during August and Sept.into the central Govt -funded, NGO-run short-stay homes for sexually abused, destitute, or battered women in four states. With the probe revealing “gross violations” in 25 of the 26 homes that were inspected on a random basis in Karnataka, UP, West Bengal and Odisha — many were functioning as working women’s hostels — the NCW will soon extend the enquiry to all 500 such homes across the country.NCW chief Rekha Sharma said: “They are meant to serve as temporary homes for destitute or abandoned women but women who should not be there were inmates in most of them, many living there for ten to 20 years. There is no skill development provided whatsoever.We are now finalising a methodology in consultation with academicians and activists after which we will carry out an enquiry in all states.”These short-stay homes were launched in 2015 by merging two separate schemes under the Swadhar Greh initiative. The plan is to set up one such facility, with a capacity for housing at least 30 women, in every district.indianexpress
Pulwama civilian killings: Restrictions imposed in Srinagar to prevent protest march to Army base
J&K govt on Monday imposed stringent restrictions in Srinagar to prevent a march called by separatist groups to protest against the civilian killings in Pulwama, Kashmir Reader reported. Roads leading to the Badami Bagh area, where the Chinar Corps Army headquarters is located, were sealed, according to PTI.Army had on Sunday urged people to not march towards the cantonment, asking them not to listen to the “misleading call” given by separatist groups. 7 civilians were killed and several people injured in firing by security forces during clashes that followed a gunfight with suspected militants in Pulwama district on Saturday. Three suspected militants and a soldier were also killed during the gunfight.The separatist Joint Resistance Leadership on Saturday called for a three-day shutdown in Kashmir and the protest march to the Army Cantonment to protest against the killings. Restrictions were imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Pulwama district and 6 police station areas of Srinagar on Sunday.On Monday, curfew-like restrictions were enforced in Ram Munshibagh, Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal police station areas and partial restrictions in Maisuma and Kralkhud, according to Greater Kashmir.Security forces were deployed across several places in Srinagar and nearby areas. Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were placed under house arrest, while Mohammad Yasin Malik, who went into hiding to avoid being arrested, was detained on Monday, according to Rising Kashmir.Mirwaiz Umar Farooq defied his house arrest and tried to march towards Badami Bagh Army base in Srinagar, Greater Kashmir reported. A police contingent deployed near his home then detained him and his supporters.Shops and commercial establishments were closed in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. Examinations scheduled for Monday have been postponed.scroll.in
Pakistan PM condemns civilian deaths in firing by Indian security forces in Kashmir’s Pulwama
Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Sunday condemned the deaths of seven civilians in firing by Indian security forces in J&K ’s Pulwama district last week.The clashes had followed a gunfight with suspected militants. Three of the militants and a soldier were killed in the gunfight.“Strongly condemn killing of innocent Kashmiri civilians in Pulwama IOK by Indian security forces,” Khan tweeted. “Only dialogue and not violence and killings will resolve this conflict.”Khan said that Islamabad will raise the matter of New Delhi’s alleged human rights violations in Kashmir at the UN. He said Pakistan will demand that the UNSC fulfil its commitment to a plebiscite in J&K . “Kashmiris must be allowed to decide their future,” Khan tweeted.Reuters
Pak releases Indian prisoner Ansari after 6 years
Islamabad:Pakistan on Monday released Indian prisoner Hamid Nihal Ansari, who was detained by the country’s intelligence agencies in 2012 and subsequently sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by a military court in 2015 for possessing a fake Pakistani identity card. Ansari, a 33-year-old Mumbai resident, was lodged in the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced by the military court on December 15, 2015. His three-year jail term ended on December 15, 2018 but he was not able to leave for India as his legal documents were not ready. On December 13, the Peshawar High Court gave the federal Govt a month deadline to complete his repatriation process.PTI
Hadiya's father joins BJP, says it is the only party that protects Hindu culture
Asokan, father of Hadiya, who was in the news for a fake case of 'Love Jihad', has joined BJP according to a report in Asianet News. The report quotes Asokan stating that he is free to join any party that he chooses and right now, the best party in India is the BJP. "Maybe because I was in the Army, I feel the BJP is essential for India's future. BJP is the only party that protects the Hindu culture. Although Congress is also like that, they are not fully committed," he says.newslaundry
Sudan's Bashir first Arab leader to visit Syria since war began
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has become the first Arab League leader to visit Damascus since the war in Syria began nearly eight years ago.Syria's state-run news agency SANA said al-Bashir was greeted on Sunday at capital's airport by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before they both headed to the presidential palace.The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and the "situations and crises faced by many Arab countries", the Syrian presidency said.Photographs released by SANA showed them shaking hands at the airport in front of a Russian jet that appears to have brought the Sudanese president to Syria. Russia, a key ally of Assad, maintains an airbase southeast of the Syrian city of Latakia.SANA quoted al-Bashir as saying during the meeting that he hopes Syria will recover its important role in the region as soon as possible. He also affirmed Sudan's readiness to provide all that it can to support Syria's territorial integrity.For his part, Assad thanked al-Bashir for his visit, asserting that it will give strong momentum for restoring relations between the two countries "to the way it was before the war on Syria", SANA said.The reason for al-Bashir's visit was not immediately clear.aljazeera
When Bashir met Bashar: Sudan's president visits Damascus to meet Assad
US-led coalition destroys Syrian mosque reportedly  used as ISIS command centre
US-led coalition in Syria destroyed a mosque in the town of Hajin which had been used as an Islamic State command and control centre, US military said.Hajin is the last big town that Islamic State holds in its remaining enclave east of the Euphrates River. US-backed SDF, spearheaded by the Kurdish militia, have battled to eliminate the jihadists there for several months.US coalition said that 16 heavily armed IS fighters were using the mosque as a base to attack. "This strike killed these terrorists who presented an imminent threat, and eliminated another deadly ISIS operational capability from the battlefield," US military said in a statement.Lilwa al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in eastern Deir al-Zor province, said on Friday that the coalition would soon re-take Hajin.Reuters
Malaysia’s Mahathir says no rights to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital
Malaysian PM  Mahathir Mohamad criticized Australia’s move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying countries had “no rights” to do so. Australia’s move follows US President Donald Trump’s decision to move US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May, which infuriated Palestinians and the wider Islamic world and upset Western allies.“Jerusalem should remain as it is now and not the capital of Israel,” Mahathir said on the sidelines of an event in Bangkok. “Jerusalem has always been under Palestine, so why are they taking the initiative to divide Jerusalem not belonging to them, but to divide the Arabs and the Jews? They have no rights,” he added.Reuters
Australia reaffirms Israel decision despite backlash
Sydney:Australia's conservative PM  stood by his decision to recognise west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite criticism from neighbouring Muslim countries. Canberra became one of a handful of Govt s to follow US President Donald Trump's lead and recognise the contested city as Israel's capital, PM Scott Morrison had announced Saturday. But a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv -- a proposal made during a crucial Sydney by-election that critics said was timed to attract Jewish voters -- will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved.Australia's Muslim-majority neighbour Malaysia said Sunday it "strongly opposes" decision to recognise west Jerusalem.The announcement was "premature and a humiliation to the Palestinians and their struggle for the right to self-determination," Govt said, advocating a 2-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Australia's immediate neighbour Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, was angered by the embassy move proposal in the run-up to by-election, and said Saturday it "notes" the decision.AFP
Facebook temporarily bans Israel PM Netanyahu's son for anti-Muslim posts
 Facebook has blocked PM  Benjamin Netanyahu's son, Yair, for 24 hours and removed his post calling to avenge the death of the 2 IDF soldiers killed in the terror attack in Givat Assaf. Yair Netanyahu complained that "Thought Police" has reached him and claimed that Facebook is trying to silence him in a place that should allow everyone to voice their opinions. "Thought Police of Facebook has found me! Congratulations!" Yair commented."Facebook has official pages created by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian govt members, as well as endless pages calling for the murder and extermination of Jews. There are also thousands posts with death threats for me and my family that do not get removed by Facebook, as they fall under the label of freedom of speech.UNI
Saudi condemns US Senate resolution accusing its crown prince of ordering Khashoggi murder
Saudi Arabia has claimed that a US Senate resolution accusing Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of ordering the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi is “interference” in its internal affairs. The resolution had also called for an end to Washington’s military support for the war in Yemen, in which Riyadh is involved.Saudi Govt  said the Senate’s resolution was based on “unsubstantiated claims and allegations”, and would “undermine” the kingdom’s regional and international role. “While the Kingdom of Saudi reaffirms its commitment to continue to further develop its relations with USA, the Kingdom also expresses its concern regarding the positions that were expressed by members of an esteemed legislative body of an allied and friendly Govt,” official statement said.scroll.in
Report: MBS mulling public Netanyahu meeting to counter Khashoggi fallout
Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad bin Salman is considering a Camp David-style meeting with PM  Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, a London-based website claimed, in what it said would be a grand diplomatic gesture intended to help rehabilitate the crown prince’s image in the wake of the brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khasoggi.According to the Qatari-funded Middle East Eye website, Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader is “seriously considering” pursuing a “game changing” summit with the Israeli and US leaders.The report quoted unnamed Saudi sources and could not be independently confirmed.timesofisrael
MBS said to be plotting Camp David-style handshake with Netanyahu

Yemen: Clashes continue in Hodeidah ahead of ceasefire
Clashes have continued in Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeidah for a third day,despite a UN-brokered ceasefire that is expected to go into effect at midnight local time. Residents reported intermittent bouts of violence in the city's southern neighbourhoods on Monday, with gunfire and missiles being exchanged overnight between pro-Govt forces and Houthis rebels."Although the violence stopped this morning, it broke out again," Kamal Abdul Ghani, a local resident said. Pro-Houthi Al-Masirah television network reported that Govt forces had targeted the city's southern neighbourhoods, with four people, including a child, reportedly injured in the attack. aljazeera
Taliban to meet US officials in UAE, group says
Taliban have said they are holding a meeting on Monday with US officials, in latest attempt to bring a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 17-year war.The meeting will be held in UAE and will involve Saudi, Pakistani and Emirati representatives, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Twitter. Khalil Minawi, director of Afghanistan's state-run Bakhtar news agency, also confirmed the meeting. He said on Twitter that officials from the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and UAE held meetings on Sunday before "Pak-sponsored US-Taliban meeting".While Afghan officials are not expected to attend Monday's meeting, their presence in UAE is a significant step in efforts to get the two sides talking. So far, the Taliban have refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan Govt, calling it a puppet of US and insisting only on negotiating with US officials.While the US State Department has neither denied nor confirmed previous meetings with the Taliban, Washington's envoy Zalmay Khalilzad previously said he has held several meetings with all Afghans involved in the protracted conflict - a reference that would include the Taliban, who control or hold sway in nearly half of Afghanistan.aljazeera
US army says 62 al-Shabab fighters killed in air raids
US military has said it killed 62 al-Shabab fighters in six air raids on Saturday and Sunday in the vicinity of Gandarsh in Somalia's south-central Banaadir province.Military's Africa Command (Africom) said on Monday that four attacks were carried out on Saturday, killing 34 fighters, and two more on Sunday, which killed 28."Africa Command and our Somali partners conducted these air strikes to prevent terrorists from using remote areas as a safe haven to plot, direct, inspire and recruit for future attacks," Africom said in a statement.aljazeera
Tlaib to wear Palestinian dress at US Congress swear-in
Rashida Tlaib, Democratic representative-elect from Michigan, has announced she will wear a traditional Palestinian thobe to her official swearing-in ceremony to US Congress next month. "Sneak peek: This is what I am wearing when I am sworn into Congress. #PalestinianThobe #ForMyYama," Tlaib wrote in an Instagram post on Friday. Yama means mother in Arabic.A thobe is a traditional ankle-length garment worn across Arab world and in some parts of Africa. Palestinian thobes are known for their red embroidered patterns.However, each city in historical Palestine traditionally has its own unique style. Tlaib is the first Palestinian American woman to serve in US Congress. Along with Somali American Ilhan Omar, 2 became the 1stMuslim women elected to Congress last Nov.aljazeera
Trump working on extraditing wanted Gulen: Turkey
Doha - US President Donald Trump has told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is working on extraditing a U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed Turkish coup in 2016, Turkey's foreign minister said."In Argentina, Trump told Erdogan they were working on extraditing  Gulen and other people," Mevlut Cavusoglu said, referring to G20 summit where the leaders met two weeks ago.Turkey has long sought the extradition of Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed US exile for nearly two decades. A former ally of Erdogan, he is blamed by Turkish authorities for the failed coup when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians.Gulen denies any involvement in the failed putsch. Trump said last month he was not considering extraditing the preacher as part of efforts to ease Turkish pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.Erdogan said last week Turkey would start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of Gulen supporters."I have recently seen a credible probe by FBI on how the Gulen outfit avoids taxes," Cavusoglu told a conference in Doha.White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Reuters
Qatar, UNHCR agree to rehabilitate thousands of Yemen refugees
Qatar has signed an agreement with the UN to provide shelter to more than 26,000 displaced people from war-torn Yemen. $3m deal was signed on Sunday between the Qatar Development Fund, Qatar Charity, and UNHCR on sidelines of the Doha Forum in Gulf state's capital.A Qatar Development Fund official said that the shelters will be located in Yemen and their construction will be supervised by UNHCR.aljazeera
Hamas chief says movement wants 'national unity'
Hamas chief Ismail Haniya affirmed his willingness to meet Mahmoud Abbas "at any place" to discuss the internal Palestinian divide.Haniya's remarks came in a speech on Sunday during a festival organised by Hamas in Gaza City to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the movement's establishment, which saw the participation of thousands of Palestinian people. Members of Hamas's armed wing,Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, participated in the rally in camouflage and carrying rifles while brandishing a range of weapons. It said large turnout reflected widespread support despite domestic and external challenges.aljazeera
China’s detention camps for Muslims turn to forced labor:New York Times
Kashgar:Muslim inmates from internment camps in far western China hunched over sewing machines, in row after row. They were among hundreds of thousands who had been detained and spent month after month renouncing their religious convictions. Now Govt  was showing them on TV as models of repentance, earning good pay— and political salvation — as factory workers.China’s ruling Communist Party has said in a surge of upbeat propaganda that a sprawling network of camps in the Xinjiang region is providing job training and putting detainees on production lines for their own good, offering an escape from poverty, backwardness and the temptations of radical Islam.But mounting evidence suggests a system of forced labor is emerging from the camps, a development likely to intensify international condemnation of China’s drastic efforts to control and indoctrinate a Muslim ethnic minority population of over 12 million in Xinjiang.Accounts from the region, satellite images and previously unreported official documents indicate that growing numbers of detainees are being sent to new factories, built inside or near camps, where inmates have little choice but to accept jobs and follow orders.
A duty to curb intolerance: Soli J. Sorabjee
Meghalaya judge’s ruling on citizenship for Hindu migrants makes worrying use of saffron pop history:Ipsita Chakravarty
The people of India seem to have taken offence to BJP’s plan:P Chidambaram
Strategic silences won’t help Congress lead the idea of India towards safer shores: Harsh Mander
To understand Islam and its rituals, a special tour inside a mosque:Ankita Apte | Pune
Rafale row: By seeking 'factual correction' in SC verdict, Centre has shot itself in foot and made deal even murkier: Bikram Vohra
I Was Forced to Quit JNU After Being Denied Salary for Ten Months:Kaustav Banerjee
SCs Rafale Judgment Contains Many Silences and Contradictions:Sudhansu Mohanty
For Mother of Encounter Victim Tulsiram Prajapati, a Decade of Pressure, Threats:Sukanya Shantha
Rafale Verdict Shows us the Peril of Sealed Covers: Arun Shourie
https://thewire.in/Govt /rafale-verdict-shows-us-the-peril-of-sealed-covers-arun-shourie
In Sajjan Kumar verdict, Delhi HC brings up ‘mass killings’ in Gujarat, Mumbai & UP:Deeksha Bhardwaj

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:41 PM)


Post a comment