July 15, 2017 - AsiaNet-Pakistan

Archive for July 15th, 2017

Funeral prayer offered for former Saudi minister Prince Abdul Rahman

July 15, 2017 |

Makkah IINA) � Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman offered funeral prayer for Prince Abdul Rahman Bin Abdulaziz at the Grand Mosque in Makkah after Isha prayers on Friday.

Those who performed funeral prayer also included Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, emir of Makkah and advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prince Abdul Ilah, special advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, deputy prime minister of Bahrain, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, head of the National Guard of Bahrain, Riyadh Deputy Emir Muhammad Bin Abdul Rahman and other sons of Prince Abdul Rahman, several other princes, ministers, senior officials, and a large number of worshippers.

The body of Prince Abdul Rahman was buried in Al-Adl Cemetery in Makkah. Condolences on the death of Prince Abdul Rahman will be received at Al-Shatie Palace in Jeddah after Maghreb prayer for three days from Saturday. Prince Abdul Rahman, former deputy minister of defense and aviation, died on Thursday.

Born in 1931 in Riyadh, Prince Abdul Rahman received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley and graduated from the California Military Academy. He was the advisor for the Royal Family Affairs during the mid-1970s. He had served as deputy minister of defense and aviation from 1978 until Nov. 5, 2011.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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Dead Fish Prompt Pakistan Drinking Water Tests

July 15, 2017 |

ISLAMABAD � Authorities in Pakistan’s capital are investigating the water in the city’s main reservoir after tons of dead fish were found in a lake on the city’s outskirts.

Police officer Imran Haider says Saturday samples of water and dead fish from Rawal Lake have been collected and sent for forensic testing after a complaint received from the capital’s fisheries department.

According to Haider, Mohammad Sadiq Buzdar of the fisheries department said there has been an increasing number of dead fish in the lake since monsoon rains began three days earlier.

Police and the fisheries department have not yet issued any alert regarding the situation.

Rawal Dam is one of two that enable water reservoir lakes for the capital.

Source: Voice of America

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Turkey’s Mission to OIC: 15 July – Defining moment in the history of Turkish nation

July 15, 2017 |

Jeddah (IINA) � Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ambassador Salih Mutlu Sen said on Saturday that there are points of times in the histories of the nations which have defining impact on the nations’ fate. The thwarted coup attempt of 15 July 2016 was one of those defining moments in the history of the Turkish nation.

The heinous coup attempt of 15 July 2016 posed an existential threat to our country and it was not a typical military putsch. At the first sightings of fighter jets flying over Ankara and Istanbul we recognized that there was something amiss. In the ensuing hours, this feeling was intensified by the horrifying realization that it was beyond a military coup d’etat and that the perpetrators of this hideous undertaking actually consisted of the disciples of Fetullah Gulen, the man who calls himself ‘Imam of the Universe’, Ambassador Sen said in a statement.

The coup attempt was the worst act of terror in the history of the Turkish Republic whereby the terrorists in military uniforms used lethal military hardware against innocent civilians who went out to the streets to defend their democracy and homeland, killing also the unsuspecting military personnel who took them for their comrades in arms and commanders who refused to take part in the attempt. The putschists used F-16 fighter jets to bomb the Turkish Parliament, the Presidential Compound, the National Intelligence Headquarters, and Special Forces Headquarters in an effort to subdue the resistance. Terrorists in uniforms sent an elite squad in full combat gear to assassinate the President and also the Prime Minister. On that night, 250 Turkish citizens were martyred and more than 2,000 were wounded, said the statement.

The ambassodor pointed out that July 15 was a test of strength and perseverance for the Turkish nation, democracy and the State. We are proud to have passed this test. All the political parties, both in government and in opposition, the uninfected elements of the Armed Forces, the Police Force and the media stood up against the coup plotters. Above all, it was the people of Turkey from all backgrounds and political views who resisted and displayed a historic example of solidarity as they stood selflessly in front of the tanks and reclaimed their country and democracy.

On the night of 15 July, as the coup unfolded it became obvious that Fetullah Gulen and his disciples were behind this bloody attempt. FETO (Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization) is not a benign civic education movement as some circles try hard to portray. What happened in Turkey one year ago is a reminder of what this organization may be capable of doing. These so-called “Gulenists” constitute a typical case of radicalization by a cult of personality. They believe that Gulen is the “Messiah” and that they are the “golden generation”. Their loyalty is to him only, making them violate any legal, religious or ethical codes in order to advance the interests of this group. FETO is a new generation terrorist organization that is based on hypocrisy, concealment and secrecy, according to the statement.

The ambassador went on to say that the Turkish government had already taken action against this mafia-like cultish organization and its financial resources before July 15. The decision to shut down prep-schools was a huge blow against this structure, since these schools were the main recruitment centers and a major financial source for FETO. It was followed by a series of administrative and judicial investigations into the criminal aspects of the organization, including their large-scale cheatings at the admission exams for civil service positions, illegal wiretappings, money laundering operations, and many others. The police and the judiciary also had taken measures to discharge FETO members from their ranks. Attempting to capture the state by their disciples disguised as army officers was their last chance to survive. July 15 was a stark revelation of the existential threat that targeted the very foundations of the Turkish Republic.

He noted that the scale of FETO’s penetration to the Turkish Armed Forces was shocking. Decoding the encrypted communication systems such as Bylock, used only by FETO members was the biggest breakthrough enabling the police to better identify FETO members who have infiltrated the state institutions and to uncover their illegal activities.

During the last year, criminal activities of FETO have also been investigated in more than a thousand different court cases, bringing to surface the darker undertakings of the organization. Confronting such a dark, sinister and clandestine structure is not easy. The Turkish government rightfully takes necessary and proportionate measures to suppress and eventually defeat this imminent threat.

The Turkish government declared a State of Emergency, immediately after the foiled terrorist coup attempt and extended it until mid-July 2017 in full conformity with our national legislation and international obligations. This was necessary to make the state organs act swiftly and effectively. In the course of the attempted coup very serious crimes amounting to massive human rights violations have been committed by the plotters. These crimes should be punished. We are determined to fight FETO with three things that they despise most: rule of law, morality, and democracy.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a historic Resolution, after comprehensive deliberation, on Fetullah Terrorist Organization in its preparatory Senior Officials Meeting on 28 July 2016, which was endorsed by consensus by the 43rd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in the same year. Resolution have proven once again the OIC’s unwavering spirit of solidarity and cooperation with Turkey, a pivotal member of the Organization.

We are determined to fight this enemy of democracy, the FETO, through democracy under the determined leadership of President Erdogan. We are doing so, while we also fight other most dangerous terrorist organizations simultaneously. In these critical times, we need support and encouragement from our friends, the statement added.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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Pakistan Takes Unilateral Steps Toward Afghan Border Security

July 15, 2017 |

ISLAMABAD � Pakistan says it finds it necessary to build a fence along its long porous border with Afghanistan, in part because of a lack of cooperation from authorities in Kabul. The border region has long been a source of instability, with militant groups, terrorists and smugglers using the remote, mountainous terrain as cover.

Pakistan says it is now moving forward unilaterally to improve security in the region, and increase the monitoring of millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.

Afghanistan opposes the border fencing plans because it disputes the demarcation of the border, which was set by the former British rulers of the Indian subcontinent. Afghan leaders also accuse Pakistan’s military and its ISI spy agency of helping Taliban insurgents and their dreaded Haqqani network ally sustain the insurgency in Afghanistan. The allegations have long strained bilateral relations and Islamabad’s border fencing project has fueled tensions.

‘No option’

Speaking at an international conference in Islamabad this week, army spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor said that the military has deployed over 200,000 troops along the border and established nearly 1,000 posts while Afghans have maintained just over 200 outposts.

This has left a large portion of the nearly 2,600-kilometer border unguarded, making it impossible to control illegal cross-border movement, he complained.

So, under compulsion we had no option but to go for unilateral border management. So, what we have done is that we have started to construct new border posts and new forts along the border. On the average, every 1.5 kilometer will have either a border post or the fort where our troops will be there, the general explained.

Islamabad dismisses traditional Afghan objections to the international frontier between the two countries. Officials also deny Pakistan is supporting Afghan insurgents, saying the charges are an attempt by the Kabul government to divert attention from their internal political and security challenges.

Ghafoor said As long as Afghanistan looks towards Pakistan through the lens of anti-Pakistan forces, the region will never be stable. The day Afghanistan looks towards Pakistan from the lens of their own national interest, it will be stable.”

Pakistan also accuses rival India of using growing influence within Afghan security institutions to destabilize Kabul’s ties with Islamabad, accusations Afghan and Indian officials deny.

Refugee population

Ghafoor said that presence of 2.7-million Afghan refugees in the country, an estimated 44 percent of them undocumented, is another prime driver of blame game between the two countries and a security challenge for Pakistan.

For long the displaced population, particularly unregistered Afghans, have lived in Pakistan with no checks on their movement, encouraging militants to exploit the situation, he said. But a recently concluded national census has now enabled authorities to identify every Afghan citizen living in the country, disclosed the general.

We desire an early, smooth, honorable and socio-economically gainful and possibly irreversible repatriation of all Afghan refugees, Ghafoor reiterated.

Increased monitoring of the refugee population coupled with border restrictions and raise in financial assistance by UNHCR for voluntary repatriation in 2016 prompted more than 750,000 Afghans to return to their homeland amid allegations of forced evictions and harassment by Pakistani authorities, according to officials in Kabul.

But the Afghan government faced challenges in handling the returnees and reintegrating them in the society, along with increased insecurity in most parts of Afghanistan. A reduction in financial assistance for the voluntary repatriation has led to a significant decline in the number of returning families this year. As of early July fewer than 40,000 refugees have returned to Afghanistan, according to UNHCR.

The development investments in the high-return communities and areas in Afghanistan have not been commensurate to the demands and the needs, said Indrika Ratwatte, UNHCR chief in Pakistan, while addressing the conference.

‘Slow process’

Afghanistan’s ambassador to Islamabad, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, says that despite its limitations, Kabul is doing all it can to absorb returnees and dismisses assertions the refugees are a source of terrorism in the host country.

In this year [repatriation] is a slow process, particularly because the pool of refugees has certainly shrunk but at the same time of course the security situation is worse than it was a year ago, Zakhilwal told the conference organized by National University of Science and Technology (NUST).

But about those who have returned I am very glad to say that you will find very few refugees who regret their decision to have returned to their country, Zakhilwal asserted. The Afghan envoy also disagreed with official Pakistani assertions that the refugee population is a cause of insecurity for the host country.

Source: Voice of America

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Israel jails Palestinian woman MP for six months without trial

July 15, 2017 |

Ramallah IINA) � Prominent Palestinian politician and rights campaigner Khalida Jarrar has been ordered detained for six months without trial by Israeli authorities, a rights group said.

Jarrar was arrested earlier this month over her membership of a movement that Israel considers a terrorist organization. She had been released from prison only a year before. A legislator in the largely defunct Palestinian parliament, she was given a six-month administrative detention order, said the Addameer rights NGO that she used to head. A confirmation hearing will be held at Ofer military court in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on July 17, Addameer said in a statement issued late Wednesday, AFP reported.

The detention constitutes an attack against Palestinian civil society leaders, the movement said. The Israeli army said Jarrar was arrested on July 2 and that a six-month administrative detention order was issued against her because of her activities as an important official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization. In a statement it said such orders are issued as a preventive measure of last resort in cases where detainees represent a serious and concrete threat to security. Jarrar is a senior figure in the PFLP, a Marxist party considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Many of its leaders are in custody and Jarrar has been jailed multiple times. The 54-year-old had only been released in June 2016 after 14 months in an Israeli jail for allegedly encouraging attacks against Israelis. Israel’s controversial administrative detention policy allows imprisonment without trial for six-month periods, renewable indefinitely. Israel says the policy is intended to allow authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence, with the aim of preventing attacks in the meantime. But the system has been criticized by Palestinians, human rights groups and members of the international community who say Israel abuses the measure. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club says around 6,500 Palestinians are currently in Israeli jails, including around 500 in administrative detention. Jarrar is the 11th member of the Palestinian parliament currently in jail, according to the prisoners’ club.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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