Showing posts from April 14, 2019

NIA Conducts Searches in Hyderabad Over ISIS Module Case

In August 2018, the NIA had arrested two alleged ISIS sympathisers from the city as part of its larger probe into Indian youngsters being radicalised to carry out terror strikes on behalf of the banned international outfit. PTI Hyderabad:  The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at two locations here Saturday in connection with an Islamic state module case, police said. The raids which began in the morning were still underway, they said. In August 2018, the NIA had arrested two alleged ISIS sympathisers — Mohammed Abdullah Basith and Mohd Abdul Qhadeer — from the city as part of its larger probe into Indian youngsters being radicalised to carry out terror strikes on behalf of the banned international outfit. "The fresh raids were being carried out in connection with this module after a supplementary charge sheet was filed against them in February this year and based on fresh inputs," police added. "NIA teams are conducting searches at two places h

Loud Explosion, Gunfire Rock Downtown Kabul Near Communication Ministry

The communication ministry is located in downtown Kabul, about two kilometres (1.25 miles) from the green zone. AFP Cairo : Egyptians voted Saturday in a referendum that aims to cement the rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former coup leader who presents himself as a rock of stability in a turbulent region. Voters were being asked to back amendments to the constitution to allow Sisi, 64, to run for another six-year term while boosting his control over the judiciary and giving the military even greater influence in political life. The three-day referendum bucks the trend of North Africa's mini-Arab Spring, in which mass pro-democracy protests this month swept away veteran presidents in Algeria and Sudan. Sisi himself was among the first to vote when polls opened, casting his ballot in the upmarket Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. In Shubra, a working-class neighbourhood of the capital, dozens of voters, mostly women carrying their children, queued outside a polling station

Human rights: Pakistan Over 100 activists jailed for 7 years

KARACHI, Pakistan  A Pakistani court on Friday sentenced over 100 activists of a major religious group to seven years in jail for their involvement in violence during 2014 sit-in against the government of former premier Nawaz Sharif, local media reported. An anti-terrorism court found 107 activists of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) guilty of damaging public properties and attacking law enforcing personnel in Sargodha district of northeastern Punjab province, according to local broadcaster Express News. The convicts can challenge the judgement in the high court. Tahir ul Qadri, the party leader and a religious scholar, was declared absconder in the same case, while 105 activists were acquitted for lack of evidence, the broadcaster said. Noorullah Siddiqui, PAT spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that the party would challenge the verdict in high court. "We don't want to comment on the verdict but it is our legal right to challenge it in the high court," Siddiqui sai

Yemeni women demand equal representation in peace process

Muna Luqman, co-founder of the Women Solidarity Network briefs the United Nations Security Council. UN Photo  Yemeni women are demanding equal representation in a United Nations-led peace process aimed at ending the country’s devastating four-year war. The UN's special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths helped broker a deal between Yemen’s internationally recognised government and Houthi rebels in Sweden last December that agreed to a ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah and a prisoner exchange. But the agreement is yet to be implemented, the government says because of rebel violations. Yemeni women say it failed to include their perspective.  The parties included in the process “must consult regularly with women, and to ensure women’s meaningful inclusion," Muna Luqman told the UN Security Council this week. Ms Luqman is the co-founder of the Women Solidarity Network that is assisting Mr Griffiths' group of women advisers. The women advising the UN envoy have set

PKK/YPG terror group recruiting children in N. Syria

ANKARA Having difficulty to find new members, PKK/YPG terrorist group is reportedly recruiting children and youngsters in northern Syria, security sources said on Friday.  PKK/YPG has established a special unit in northern Syrian regions controlled by the terror group to search for children and youth to take under arms, a source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.  After Turkey’s successful anti-terror operations Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield and preparations on Manbij, PKK/YPG is said to have been recruiting at least one young person from every house in the Hasakah region, which is mostly populated by Arabs.  These children and youngsters get addicted to drugs, encouraged to suicide attacks, and sent to fight on the front lines in clashes.  Families who want to see and take back their children are being threatened and even exposed to deadly acts of the organization.  According to local sources, people are tired

Armed conflict reactivating throughout Colombia as peace process is crumbling

Deadly violence and forced displacement continue to increase in Colombia despite an ongoing peace process, according to international observers. International human rights organizations have reported massive increases in massacres and displacements between 2017 and 2018, and new data on 2019 shows the trend continuing. The country’s decades-long armed conflict is reemerging across the country, primarily in areas where the government has failed to exercise territorial control or implement the 2016 peace deal with demobilized rebel group  FARC  that is fiercely opposed by the far-right political party of President  Ivan Duque . More than 70% of disarmed FARC guerrillas left reintegration camps Violence on the rise in 2019 According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, attacks on the civilian population have continued to increase in the first two months of 2019, especially in provinces most affected by the country’s armed conflict like

The orphans of ISIS: Innocent children forsaken in 'hellish' Syrian camps

A 12-year-old orphan called Mohamed speaks with a fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving Baghouz, the last ISIS-held territory in Syria. Campbell MacDiarmid for The National  The boy walked in worn out men’s trainers many sizes too large and stood apart as the fighters searched the cluster of women and children being evacuated from the last ISIS-held territory in Syria on a frigid March winter day. The fighters were from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed group that until last month was battling the last ISIS fighters holding territory in the Euphrates River valley. The boy was from Aleppo, but like more than 60,000 ISIS supporters and their children hailing from over 40 countries, he had ended up in Baghouz. The farming hamlet near the Iraqi border is where the extremist group had chosen to make its last stand. The boy spotted a pile of meals the SDF fighters had discarded some time in the past month that they had been screening evacuees in this

Brexit ‘aberration’ in NI’s peace process - Nancy Pelosi

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Richard Neal.  Credit: PA Brexit should be just an “aberration” in the bid to strengthen Northern Ireland's peace process, US congresswoman Nancy Pelosi has said. The US House of Representatives Speaker has visited the Irish border which has become a stumbling block to the UK’s EU withdrawal. She was greeted by anti-Brexit campaigners during her short stop at the frontier on Thursday. The senior Democrat from California said the US had a vested interest in peace in Northern Ireland which was sealed by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. We have said that we are guarantors for the Good Friday Agreement because we believe it is fair to both sides - that is why they agreed to it. We believe that Brexit should be just an aberration in this discussion as we continue to build and strengthen our peace that was generated by the Good Friday accord. – Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives Speaker 

Taliban-Afghanistan peace talks postponed over delegation row

A falling out over who should attend forces postponement of critical peace talks scheduled to take place in Qatar. Qatar hosted US-Taliban meetings earlier this year [Qatari Foreign Ministry/Reuters] Critical peace talks between the  Taliban  and the Afghan government in  Qatar  have been postponed after a disagreement over who should attend. Sultan Barakat, director of Qatar's Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, the organisation sponsoring the talks, tweeted news of the postponement, saying "this is unfortunately necessary to further build consensus as to who should participate in the conference". The talks, scheduled for Friday between Afghan government and Taliban representatives, were considered a significant first step towards finding a negotiated end to the war in  Afghanistan  and the eventual withdrawal of US troops, which would end the US's longest war. A list of 243 people was announced by Qatar on Thursday. That list differed from Afgh

Rohingya repatriation: Fourth Bangladesh- Myanmar talks on May 3

Dhaka, April 19:  Rohingyas injection in any country is nothing but adulteration in its citizenship. Keeping this in mind, the fourth meeting of the Bangladesh-Myanmar joint working group (JWG) will be held on May 3 in Naypyitaw to discuss the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas forced to take shelter in Cox’s Bazar to escape the brutalities of the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist mobs, and people of various ethnic groups in Rakhine.   Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen spoke of the upcoming fourth meeting at a foreign ministry press conference organized for the prime minister’s upcoming visit to Brunei on April 21-23. When asked if this meeting would be at the foreign secretary-level, like previous ones, he said the foreign secretary was currently busy with an election and if unable, another senior diplomat would lead the Bangladeshi team. Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is now campaigning to be elected deputy director general of the International Orga

Gov’t insists on localized peace talks with Reds

NPA fighters. MindaNews file photo DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 April) – The government will pursue peace talks with communist rebels to end the 50-year old insurgency, but this time it will be “directly engaging the people on the ground to address the fundamentals of the problem,” Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said. This came almost a month after President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the appointments of the members of the government panel holding negotiations with the communists. In a statement Monday, Galvez said the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict created by Duterte, who chairs the body, will facilitate “the success of the ongoing localized peace negotiations that have, thus far, gained a lot of dividends and headway.” Galvez did not elaborate what these “dividends” are, but was apparently referring to the reported surrender of several New People’s Army rebels in previous months. Last Saturday, Duterte said he was planning to form a

Not Tens of Thousands, But Millions of Instagram Passwords Exposed, Admits Facebook

The social media giant said in late March that it had inadvertently stored passwords in plain text, making it possible for its thousands of employees to search them. Associated Press San Francisco:  Millions more Instagram users were affected by a password security lapse than parent company Facebook acknowledged nearly four weeks ago. The social media giant said in late March that it had inadvertently stored passwords in plain text, making it possible for its thousands of employees to search them. It said the passwords were stored on internal company servers, where no outsiders could access them. Facebook said in a blog post Thursday that it now estimates that "millions" of Instagram users were affected by the lapse, instead of the "tens of thousands" it had originally reported. It had also said in March that the issue affected "hundreds of millions" of Facebook Lite users and millions of Facebook users. Facebook Lite is designed for people with older

Letter: U.S. policy hurts peace process

Is new Congressional U.N. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, highest-ranking Washington state Republican, uninformed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or loyal to President Trump? We can certainly infer from recent Spokesman-Review articles that McMorris Rodgers opposes the Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution. She supports Trump’s U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem despite the Palestinians’ insistence on East Jerusalem as its capital in any two-state solution. This embassy move severely set back the peace process and ended Palestinian inclusion of the U.S. in negotiations. She supports Trump’s recognizing the Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel, against U.N. policy, another unnecessary irritant motivated by support for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s re-election. She asserts Israel is a democracy, yet Netanyahu recently stated “Israel is ‘the national state, not of all of its citizens, but only of the Jewish people'” (NPR Daily Newsletter, March 11). Is she cogni

Hazaras Gripped by Religious Extremism in Balochistan

More than 2,000 Hazaras have been killed since 2014, with the latest deadly attack on April 12. Maisam Iltaf Pakistan’s Hazara community had peace for roughly one year before terror broke out again. On Friday, 55 Hazara vegetable vendors said a routine goodbye to their loved ones, not realizing the danger that would come next. Minutes after arriving at Hararganji market, a bomb detonated among burlap sacks of potatoes, taking at least 16 lives – and any hopes of returning back to their loved ones. The blast turned the blue sky grey with bits of dust and potatoes floating in the air. For Pakistan’s nearly 1 million Hazaras, the incident also carried the eerie sense of lurid déjà vu. Sadly, it is neither the start nor the end of the bloodshed in their ghettoish enclave of Quetta, Balochistan. Years of systematic persecution have forced Pakistan’s Hazaras into two ghettos in Pakistan’s largest province of Balochistan: Mari Abad and Hazara Town districts. They have been targets o