Army launches operation along Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency

Army launches operation along Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army announced the launch of an operation along the Pak-Afghan border in Rajgal valley on Tuesday.

An Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said the operation was launched “to reinforce troop deployment in Rajgal valley to effectively check and guard against” movement across the porous border in Khyber Agency.

The operation targets “movement on high mountains and all-weather passes in Khyber Agency,” the statement said.

Rajgal valley is located in northern Tirah in Khyber Agency.

Despite heavy military presence on both sides of the border, cross-border movements of militants (in both ways) have been a major area of concern. Investigation into the Bacha Khan University Attack in January established that the mastermind, planners and handlers had used Afghan soil and telecommunication network for executing the deadly strike.

The government has been under persistent pressure from the military to accelerate the steps that were required for an effective execution of its counterterrorism strategy ─ known as the National Action Plan (NAP), a policy agreed by consensus by all political parties after the December 2014 Army Public School tragedy.


Nigeria: Ahmadiyya Youngsters On Excursion To Commemorate Centenary Celebration

Nigeria: Ahmadiyya Youngsters On Excursion To Commemorate Centenary Celebration

 As part of celebrating 100 years of establishment in Nigeria and 126 years in the World, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria male and female children known as (Nasrat and Atfal) went on excursion to commemorate the celebration.

The children were led on excursion by the youth leadership to the International Conference Center and the National Stadium in Abuja on Saturday, 13 August, 2016.

Atfal and Nasrat are the members of Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya and Nasiratul Ahmadiyya respectively.

Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya — formed for Ahmadi boys aged between 7 to 15 years — is a spiritual organization within Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association,Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya, and Nasiratul Ahmadiyya is the organization of young Ahmadi girls age 7-14, setup as a sub-auxiliary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Women Association, Lajna Ima’illah.

Source/Credit: The Gazelle News

USA: Four countries where it’s dangerous to criticize religion, according to U.S. State Department

USA: Four countries where it’s dangerous to criticize religion, according to U.S. State Department

Four countries — Mauritania, Pakistan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia — were identified as danger zones for religious freedom in the report released Wednesday by the U.S. State Department. These countries’ blasphemy laws that curtail universally recognized human rights were highlighted and concerns regarding this were aired.

In his remarks during last Wednesday’s release, Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin said, “When a government denies religious liberty, it turns citizens who have done nothing wrong into criminals, igniting tension that breeds contempt, hopelessness, alienation.”

He argued that religious diversity is an essential ingredient to progress, saying, “Far from a vulnerability or weakness, religious pluralism shows respect for the beliefs of every citizen and gives each a tangible reason to contribute to the success of the entire society. That’s why no nation can fulfill its potential if its people are denied the right to freely choose and openly practice their faith.”

An illustration of the dangers and abuses of “societal passions,” set the tone for the report. An account of the brutal killing of Farkhunda Malikzada of Kabul, Afghanistan, falsely accused of burning the Quran, highlighted the consequences of such and showed there is hope for change with the right response from government leaders. Farkhunda’s attack was condemned by the government and has brought awareness and eventual improvement in their judicial system.

The report said, “In many other Islamic societies, societal passions associated with blasphemy – deadly enough in and of themselves – are abetted by a legal code that harshly penalizes blasphemy and apostasy. Such laws conflict with and undermine universally recognized human rights.”

Residents of countries who have these laws or social norms are vulnerable to attacks. The four countries highlighted in the report were Mauritania, Pakistan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

Mauritania is a primarily Muslim country and Islam is the only religion recognized by its citizens and by the state. In this country of 3.6 million people, violation of the apostasy law by word or by action, be it apparent or obvious, is punishable by death, Christian Today reports.

The State Department’s annual report revealed the plight of an online blogger Mohammad Cheikh Ould Mohammad who was accused criticizing the Prophet Mohammad and blaming religious authorities for the forgeron castes’ discrimination. MKheytir, as Mohammad is more popularly known for, was convicted of apostasy but his sentence was lowered after he “repented.” He is still in prison waiting for a possible pardon from the Supreme Court. The human right activist who defended him received threats to his life.

In Pakistan, mob violence has caused more than 62 deaths since 1990, according to the Centre for Research and Security Studies in Pakistan. This act has often been justified by Pakistan’s blasphemy laws which call for harsh punishments for the desecration of the Quran or insulting the Prophet Mohammad. About 39 registered cases of blasphemy against 359 people and 40 people sentenced to death for blasphemy, according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), as cited in the State Department’s report.

Meanwhile, in Sudan, the Sudanese Penal Code on apostasy states that “any Muslim who declares publicly that he/she has adopted any religion other than Islam commits the crime of apostasy and is punishable with the death penalty. However, the provision waives the death penalty if the convicted person reconverts to Islam.”

Sudan’s criminal code punishes those who commit acts such as insulting Islam or inciting disrespect against the religion’s followers will be sanctioned with imprisonment, flagellation or fine.

In Saudi Arabia, the prevailing law is the Islamic Sharia’a which criminalizes conversion to other religions, blasphemy and apostasy; it imposes the death penalty on violators. Also in effect is a law that deems “calling for atheist thought,” “calling into question the Islamic religion” and “sowing discord in society” as criminal acts.

Source/Credit: Christian Daily

Nigeria: ISIS Orders Its Franchises to Kill Christians

Nigeria: ISIS Orders Its Franchises to Kill Christians

 The coup that replaced Boko Haram’s leader puts the ISIS subsidiary’s focus on killing Christians in hopes it can unite, expand, and endure.

The so-called Islamic State has different strategies in different parts of the world, but in Africa and in Europe, certainly, its core objective is becoming clear: to kill Christians. Its long-term goal: to provoke a new Crusade, reviving the holy wars of many hundreds of years ago in the belief that this time around Islam will win.

In practical terms, this focus on a single pervasive, easily targeted enemy is useful to a “caliphate” under pressure that is trying to keep its troops in line.

The way ISIS has handled its Nigerian disciples in the terror organization called Boko Haram, best known for kidnapping girls and using women and children as suicide bombers, is a perfect case in point.

Earlier this month, a man named Abu Musab al-Barnawi announced that he had taken over the infamous Boko Haram organization. And his first message as Boko Haram’s leader was as clear as it was concise—on his watch, the group’s main focus will be killing Christians.

According to an interview published this month by the self-proclaimed Islamic State group (ISIS), al-Barnawi threatened to bomb churches and kill Christians, but will no longer attack places used by Muslims.

Source/Credit: The Daily Beast