Showing posts from April 20, 2014

Govt-TTP talks likely in two days' time: Yousuf Shah

ISLAMABAD: Maulana Yousuf Shah, coordinator of the Taliban-nominated committee to mediate peace talks with the government, said Saturday that contact had been established with the Taliban and a meeting was expected to take place with its political shura in two days’ time, DawnNews reported. Speaking to DawnNews, Maulana Yousuf said the Taliban Shura had asked for two days' time to determine a location for the meeting to take place. He said extension of ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and other issues would be taken up in the meeting, adding that the deadlock in peace talks would end. Another member of the Taliban-nominated committee Professor Ibrahim complained that the government had still not provided the list of prisoners which it had released. He said it was not clear as to who held custody of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Haider Gilani, adding that if the latter was in the Taliban’s captivity, then a demand should be made for his release. Source  http://www.dawn

Al Qaeda Chief Calls For Kidnap Of Westerners

The leader of al Qaeda has reportedly called on Muslims to kidnap Westerners, particularly Americans, so they can be exchanged for militants being held in jails. Ayman al Zawahiri, who was previously the extremist movement's number two until the death of Osama bin Laden, said he hoped it would enable the freeing of an Egyptian convicted of attacking New York landmarks. "I ask Allah the Glorious to help us set free Dr Omar Abdel-Rahman and the rest of the captive Muslims," Zawahiri said, according to the SITE website monitoring service. "And I ask Allah to help us capture from among the Americans and the Westerners to enable us to exchange them for our captives."  Abdel-Rahman, known as The Blind Sheikh, is serving a life term in the US after being convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack several New York City landmarks, including the United Nations. Among the offences he was convicted of was seditious conspiracy in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Zaw

Attacks Kill at Least 6 in Baghdad - ABC News

BAGHDAD — Two attacks killed at least six people Saturday in the Iraqi capital, where police also discovered nine bodies, some of them riddled with bullets, officials said. The bloodshed comes a day after a coordinated bomb attack on a campaign rally for a militant Shiite group killed at least 33 people, fueling fears that Iraq's already simmering sectarian tensions boil over into retaliatory violence just days ahead of critical parliamentary elections. An al-Qaida breakaway group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, claimed responsibility for Friday's bombings on the Baghdad rally, where some 10,000 backers of Asaib Ahl al-Haq were in attendance. The Islamic State said on a militant website that the attacks were to avenge what it called the killing of Sunnis and their forced removal from their homes by Shiite militias. The authenticity of the claim could not be independently verified. On Saturday, the leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq said one member who was to contest Wednesda

Once resistant to Maoist violence, Dumka now bears the brunt of Naxals

Injured Police and polling officials after suspected Maoists attack at Sikaripara in Dumka of Jharkhand on Thursday. (PTI) Two staff nurses tried to be everywhere at once – lost count of saline drips running out and had to pacify angry crowds. Two other colleagues on duty had to be in the labour room and operation theatre, where the only duty doctor of the night was stationed. This was Dumka, the sub-capital of Jharkhand, the assembly constituency of chief minister Hemant Soren, whose people sent his father – a three-time-chief minister – to the Lok Sabha seven times. And there were two nurses with the bare essentials to patch up the 10 injured and send them on their way to hospitals at least five to eight hours away, on a day violence was anticipated. “Today was better; we have four nurses instead of three,” said one of the nurses. When the CPI-Maoist struck at the heart of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on polling day, attacking two vehicles – killing five policemen and three indi

Defying Moscow, Ukraine threatens to blockade pro-Russian militants

Kiev, Ukraine:  The interim central government in Kiev threatened to blockade the eastern city of Slovyansk on Friday, defying warnings from Moscow not to confront pro-Russian militants entrenched in towns across eastern Ukraine. (Also Read: R ussian aircraft entered Ukraine airspace: Pentagon ) In another affront to the Kremlin, Kiev also warned that any Russian troops crossing the border on maneuvers would be treated as an invasion. The declarations reflected heightened worries that the government's efforts to move against forces aligned with Moscow would incite a Russian military incursion that the Kremlin would characterise as a humanitarian or peacekeeping initiative. (Also Read:  Window closing for Russia to change course in Ukraine: John Kerry ) In another ominous sign of escalating tensions, the Pentagon said Friday evening that Russian fighter jets had made about half a dozen incursions into Ukrainian airspace over the previous 24 hours. Col. Steven H. Warren, a Pentagon s

The path to extremism: The story of how one young man from Calgary ended up dead in Syria

The path to extremism: The story of how one young man from Calgary ended up dead in Syria Stewart BellFriday, Apr. 25, 2014 Christianne Boudreau at home in Calgary, Alberta, April 16, 2014. Her son Damian Clairmont was killed in Syria. Todd Korol for National Post The Downtown 8th & 8th Musallah is a storefront Islamic centre a few blocks from the Calgary Tower. It has an unobtrusive sign above blind-covered windows, and a door that opens to a prayer room with a small library. Even between prayer times, Damian Clairmont would sit on the carpeted floor reading books about Islam. Sometimes he would go to the halal restaurant around the corner, Calgary Shwarma, to read and talk about his newfound faith. Then about 18 months ago, he disappeared. He flew to Seattle and boarded a flight to Amsterdam. From there he took a plane to Istanbul and crossed the Turkish border into northern Syria to join an armed group aligned with Al-Qaeda. And he wasn’t the only one. An investigation by the  N

Desist From Celebrating Terrorism, Maku Tells African Journalists

The minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku has called on African Journalists to desist from celebrating terrorism by reporting extensively the act of terrorism which end up displaying terrorists as icons that should be celebrated. Maku who was speaking during the 8th Ordinary Congress of the West Africa Journalists Association (WAJA) stated that though freedom of speech should be encouraged in Africa, it should not be extended to terrorists who he said aimed to destroy the society. “I have found that terrorists seek publicity more than politicians that seek for election. Without the free media they get, I tell you they will be demoralise. Stop reporting any terrorism attack for two months and they will go down. Freedom of Press should not be extended to those who bring about the language of hate that destroy the society,” he said. He also urged them to begin the sensitization of their various countries on the fact that the issue of terrorism if not contended, might spread to other co

Bengali director to shoot film on terrorism in Kashmir

Bengali director Sanghamitra Chowdhury is planning to shoot a film in Kashmir which will show how terrorism affects the lives of tourists visiting the 'paradise on earth.' Chowdhury, who previously made 'Strings of Passion' on male model abuse, has Aditya Pancholi in mind for an important role in the yet untitled film. "I have already done a recee of places like Pahalgam and Srinagar. Aditya is a good actor and we have talked for once but he is yet to give his word," she said. "The film centres on the victimisation of a Bengali family caught in the vortex of terrorism during a visit to the place," said Chowdhury. The rest of the cast will be from among prominent Tollywood actors, said the director who has previously worked with Joy Sengupta in 'Chhayamoy' and on maoist issue in 'Jangalmahal'. Chowdhury has also directed a film based on the life of a woman cop in 'Kencho Khurte Keute'. "She was a senior police officer with

Leviathan in the lure of Mammon: limits of political Islam in Turkey

Turkey's political leadership has created a distinctive form of rule. But growing strains now make it harder than ever to sustain the model, says Kerem Öktem. The news from Europe's eastern borderlands has been worrying to say the least. Whether in the Ukraine, the western Balkans and even in the European Union member-state Hungary, hopes for liberal democracy are being countered by authoritarian power arrangements. Western-style liberal democracy is also losing its appeal elsewhere in the world, from India to China, while Putin-style despotism (" Putinismo ", as Timothy Garton Ash  calls  it), is gaining traction. Nowhere are these trends more apparent than in Turkey. A hopeful candidate for EU accession only a few years ago, the country now seems to be caught in a vicious cycle of polarised politics, Islamic conservatism and authoritarian governance. The conflict is between a political leader and his followers, who see the future of Turkey's social contract in H