Category Archives: Bonds

FOUR MILITANTS KILLED DURING INTELLIGENCE BASED OPERATION IN MASTUNG

Security forces have killed four militants during intelligence based operation in Kanak area Mastung district of Balochistan.

According to security sources, the forces were conducting search operation in the area when suspects opened fire on them.

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Source: Radio Pakistan

Myanmar deploys extra troops to further genocide in Rakhine: Rohingya group

Myanmar (IINA) – The deployment of extra troops to Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state is to further the Rohingya genocide, according to a group representing the Muslim minority on Tuesday.

The army dispatched a battalion, around 500 soldiers, to the Maungdaw area of northern Rakhine, where Rohingya Muslims form the majority, on Thursday last week.

Hla Kyaw, chairman of the European Rohingya Council, said the troops were from the 33rd Light Infantry Division, which he described as the most notorious military unit when it comes to the serious violation of human rights against ethnic communities.

He said the deployment was designed to establish a permanent military presence in Rakhine as well as the advancement of Rohingya genocide.

In emailed comments to Anadolu Agency, he added: The advancement of Rohingya genocide is the primary goal of the army. The instability in Rakhine state is used as an excuse for the heavy and permanent presence of the army in Rakhine state.

Rising tensions were exacerbated by the killing of seven villagers in the Maungdaw area late last month. The government blamed extremists for the killings and said it had found terrorist hideouts in the state’s northern May Yu mountains.

However, Kyaw said the killings were a pretext created by high-level military intelligence, citing unspecified sources.

First, the military intelligence created a pretext or problems, he said. Then the state propaganda media spread rumors that the Rohingya are involved in the killing[s] without any evidence or proper investigation.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have sheltered in refugee camps in Rakhine since communal violence flared in mid-2012.

The state is home to around 1.2 million Rohingya, who have long been officially labeled Bengali — a term suggesting they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

In a report on the four-month operation, the UN said it had uncovered human rights violations by security forces in Rakhine that indicated crimes against humanity, Anadolu Agency reported.

During interviews with Rohingya refugees in neighboring Bangladesh, the UN documented mass gang rape, killings, including of babies and children, brutal beatings and disappearances.

Representatives of the Rohingya minority have said approximately 400 people were slain during the operation. We have been documenting an extraordinary escalation of daily abuse of Rohingya by the army since the mobilization of the army, Kyaw said. He accused State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi of complicity in abuses again Rohingya. Unfortunately, Aung San Suu Kyi is on board with the army in the advancement of the Rohingya genocide agenda. To make the situation worse, the West is completely silent on this matter.

We urge the EU, the UN, and regional governments to pressure the Myanmar government to end the complete destruction of the Rohingya community.”

At the weekend, Buddhist protests called for international aid agencies to be thrown out of Rakhine state, claiming they supported militant groups.

Last month, the World Food Program said nearly 226,000 Rohingya were on the brink of starvation.

Its report said nearly a third of the population in northern Rakhine was identified as severely food-insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance. Among them were an estimated 80,500 children under the age of five.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

Hard-pedaling Soft Power, China Helps Launch $13B Belt and Road Rail Project in Malaysia

KUANTAN, MALAYSIA China and Malaysia broke ground on Wednesday on a $13 billion rail project linking peninsular Malaysia’s east and west, the largest such project in the country and a major part of Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure push.

The planned 688-km (430-mile) East Coast Rail Link will connect the South China Sea, large parts of which are claimed by China, at the Thai border in the east with the strategic shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca in the west.

It is among the most prominent projects in China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a modern-day “Silk Road” connecting the world’s second-largest economy by land corridors to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia and maritime routes opening up trade with the Middle East and Europe.

“The ECRL is indeed yet another ‘game changer’ and a ‘mindset changer’ for Malaysia as it will significantly cut travel time to and from the east coast of the peninsula,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said at the ceremony halfway along the route in Kuantan, which faces the South China Sea.

For China, the project is another expansion of its soft power in Malaysia, which also lays claim to some disputed South China Sea islands, and is critical for China’s geopolitical and strategic interests.

“The China government has attached great importance to the China-Malaysia relations and has always considered Malaysia a dear neighbor and trustworthy partner who is committed to seeking mutually beneficial cooperation and common development in the country,” Chinese State Councillor Wang Yong said at the ceremony, heading up a 100-strong delegation in Kuantan.

Najib said the project would be financed with an 85 percent loan from China Exim Bank and the balance through a “sukuk” Islamic bond program managed by local investment banks.

The project is being built by China Communications Construction Co. Ltd.

Beijing has repeatedly come to the rescue of Najib over the last year, as he sought foreign investment that would help him pay off a massive debt piled up by scandal-plagued state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Najib has announced a spree of infrastructure projects in the last few months, many funded by China, as he builds up momentum for a general election that he has to call by mid-2018.

A Nomura research report last month said foreign direct investment inflows from China into Malaysia surged by 119 percent in 2016 and continued to grow at 64 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2017.

The growing closeness to China has raised eyebrows among Najib’s opponents who have argued that the country has become too reliant on Chinese funds.

But Najib dismissed the concerns in a speech on Tuesday, saying turning away from Chinese FDI made “no economic sense.”

There have been protests in Sri Lanka and Thailand over the Belt and Road initiative. A planned rail link through Thailand hit some resistance with what critics said were Beijing’s excessive demands and unfavorable financing.

But Thailand’s cabinet last month approved construction of the first phase of a $5.5 billion railway project to link the industrial eastern seaboard with southern China through landlocked Laos.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan Dismisses US Assertions Fighting Terrorism ‘Selectively’

ISLAMABAD Pakistan has dismissed latest U.S. assertions it is selectively fighting terrorist groups or allowing insurgents to use Pakistani soil for plotting attacks against Afghanistan.

U.S. National Security Adviser McMaster told an American news station Saturday that the Trump administration wants regional countries, particularly Pakistan to stop providing safe haven and support bases to the Taliban and Haqqani Network.

“Pakistan has taken action against all the terrorist elements without discrimination. We have never allowed nor will anybody ever be allowed to use Pakistan’s soil against any other country, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria told VOA when asked for his comments on McMaster’s assertions.

The spokesman went on to say that Pakistan and the United States have been cooperating in counterterrorism such such issues came under discussion when the acting American envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan visited Islamabad last week.

We have clarity in this regard, having suffered unparalleled loss of lives of tens of thousands of our citizens and billions of dollars to Pakistan’s economy that we have to eradicate the menace completely and we shall continue to fight the terrorists, irrespective, Zakaria said.

Afghan and U.S. officials have long alleged that Pakistani security forces are fighting anti-state militant groups on their soil but not moving against insurgents plotting cross-border attacks. McMaster in his Saturday’s interview reiterated those concerns.

This is, of course, you know, a very paradoxical situation, right, where Pakistan is taking great losses. They have fought very hard against these groups, but they’ve done so really only selectively, he said.

President Trump’s administration has not yet announced details of its new Afghan strategy and McMaster also declined to discuss any details, though he asserted the president has taken some important decisions.

The strategy is reportedly also exploring a new approach towards Pakistan that could see more U.S. pressure to address the issue of militant safe havens, expanding drone strikes, reducing aid to Islamabad and downgrading Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri has welcomed McMaster’s comments on safe havens in Pakistan. He told VOA the Afghan government has long maintained that without ending the sanctuaries on the other side of the border, the war in Afghanistan will not end.

“The U.S. review for the region including Pakistan is still ongoing and we shall await its outcome,” said Zakaria.

Source: Voice of America

About 2,000 Daesh fighters to remain in Syria’s Raqqa: US envoy

Washington (IINA) – About 2,000 Daesh fighters are estimated to remain in the Syrian city of Raqqa, fighting for their survival in the face of an offensive by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a senior US official said on Friday.

Brett McGurk, US special envoy for the coalition against Daesh, said the SDF had cleared about 45 percent of Raqqa since launching an attack in early June to seize Daesh’s stronghold in northern Syria. Today in Raqqa ISIS is fighting for every last block … and fighting for their own survival McGurk told reporters. Some 2,000 ISIS fighters are left in the city and most likely will die in Raqqa, he said.

The assault on Raqqa coincided with the final stages of a campaign to drive Daesh from the Iraqi city of Mosul, where the militants were defeated last month. McGurk said Daesh has lost 27,000 square miles of the territory it once held in the two countries � 78 percent of what they had seized in Iraq and 58 percent of what they held in Syria. Before every military operation, coalition forces surround the area targeted to make sure Daesh’s foreign fighters cannot escape and make their way out of Iraq and Syria, he said.

With the close cooperation of Turkish forces, the entire Syrian-Turkish border was sealed and Daesh can no longer send militants trained in Syria for attacks in Europe and elsewhere, McGurk said.

The coalition has compiled a database of almost 19,000 names of Daesh fighters gathered from cellphones, address books and other documents found on battlefields which it is sharing with the international police agency Interpol, he said. Daesh is also fighting the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is backed by Russian air power and Iranian-backed militias.

McGurk said de-confliction arrangements the US and Russian militaries have made to avoid accidents as they operate separately in Syria were working well despite deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two countries. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the US-Russian relationship was at an all-time and very dangerous low, and Russia said new sanctions imposed by Washington meant an end to hopes for better ties with the Trump administration. So far we have not seen an effect on our engagement with the Russians when it comes to Syria, McGurk said.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

13 dead migrants found on boat in Mediterranean

Madrid, (IINA) – A Spanish rescue group said it has found 167 migrants alive and 13 dead � including pregnant women and children � in a rubber boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea.

Laura Lanuza, a spokeswoman for Spain’s Proactiva Open Arms aid group, said 40 women and six children were among those rescued Tuesday 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha.

Separately, a boat from the NGO ‘Save the Children’ came to the aid of some 90 migrants aboard a small boat, the Italian news agency ANSA said.

Both rescue operations off Libya were coordinated by the Italian coast guard.

More than 2,200 migrants have died trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Source: International Islamic News Agency