Muslim World News

Muslim World News

Canada ultimatum to NATO on Afghan pullout

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS

Toronto : Canada Monday gave an ultimatum to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies that it will pull out of Afghanistan if they don't send their own 1,000 troops to Kandahar where its 2,500 troops are fighting the Taliban.

Canada, which joined the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan to fight the Al Qaeda and Taliban in 2002 and was put in charge of Kandahar, has lost 78 troops so far.

Protests after Musharraf lashes out at veteran London journalist

By Dipankar De Sarkar, IANS

London : Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's charm offensive in Europe is apparently leaving a lot of people unconvinced.

A tirade by him against a veteran and respected London-based Pakistani journalist at a public event has prompted a swift condemnation by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a blog by a shocked British editor and even the threat of legal action by Pakistani students in London.

Traditionally secular Damascus rediscovers religion


Damascus : Every morning, Fares leaves his house for the nearby mosque to say his dawn prayers. When he returns he expects his wife and two sons to have finished their own prayers and got ready to recite verses from the Koran until it's time to leave for work and school.

Fares is a civil servant at a government department. His sons are in grades seven and eight. His wife does not go out to work because Fares believes house chores are a woman's only work.

Militants take Pakistani children hostage for several hours


Islamabad : Islamic militants Monday took dozens of school children hostage in the North West Frontier Province for several hours during a failed attempt to kidnap a government official, and released them after being given safe passage.

"Two local religious leaders held negotiations with the insurgents and on their request we called back all security troops who were surrounding the building," said Dar Ali Khattak, the police chief in Bannu District.

Brown holds Musharraf to account for ensuring democracy

By Dipankar De Sarkar, IANS

London : British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday told Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in clear terms to ensure that planned general elections in his country next month are free and fair as pro-democracy protesters criticised the government for according Musharraf a red carpet welcome.

"Credible elections are essential," Brown told Musharraf at a joint press conference, where the visiting Pakistani leader repeatedly thanked his host for pledging financial assistance to Pakistan.

Militants release hostages in school, get safe passage in Pakistan

By Xinhua

Islamabad : A group of militants who took shelter in a school to evade chasing security forces and held schoolchildren and teachers hostages in northwest Pakistan have released their captives after local administration offered them safe passage, a local official said.

The acting District Coordination Officer (DCO) of Bannu district in North-West Frontier Province said that a member of the provincial assembly brokered the deal between militants and local administration.

European Union to launch new aid deal for Palestinians


Brussels : The European Union (EU) is to launch Feb 1 a new, long-term system of delivering aid to the Palestinian territories, officials here said Monday.

"The EU is strongly committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority's reform and development priorities ... (The new system) will provide greater stability and predictability to our action as the largest donors to the Palestinians," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in a statement.

Protests in London as Brown meets Musharraf


London : Pro-democracy demonstrators Monday called upon the British government not to give visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf a "red carpet treatment" as he and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met in London.

"We have never seen a demonstration like this in London for a Pakistani leader. People here are angry," said Lord Ahmed, a member of the ruling Labour party and Britain's upper house of parliament.

EU Foreign Ministers to discuss Pakistan, Gaza, Iran

By EuAsiaNews

Brussels: The Council of European Union Foreign Ministers will have an exchange of views during its formal monthly meeting on Monday on the latest developments in Pakistan and following the visit to Brussels of President Pervez Musharraf on 21 January.

EU officials have strongly stressed the importance of holding free and fair elections scheduled to take place on 18 February, which should allow for a democratic and transparent electoral process under proper security conditions.

Situation in Gaza all too familiar to Israeli survivors of the Holocaust: paper


ABU DHABI, The stalemate in the Middle East is set to continue, editorialized a major UAE daily paper.

"The way to end the blockade of Gaza, so Israel assures the world, is simple: Hamas must stop firing its rockets into Israeli territory. It is as easy as that," added the English language Gulf News.