Muslim World News

Muslim World News

Protest rallies banned in Pakistan

Islamabad (IANS) : Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has banned protest demonstrations, rallies and sit-ins to ensure peaceful holding of the Jan 8 elections.

Chairing a high-level meeting at his camp office in Rawalpindi, Musharraf Saturday also urged the political parties to do away with confrontational politics and prepare for the elections, The News reported Sunday.

Governors and caretaker chief ministers of the four provinces also attended the meeting to discuss preparations for the elections and the law and order situation in the country.

Artists protest as Bangladesh sends rare art pieces to Paris

Dhaka (IANS) : Bangladesh has flown out rare archaeological artefacts for an exhibition in Paris, triggering a massive protest by artists, intellectuals and students who fear that these may be stolen or damaged.

Ten crates containing 189 art pieces were taken out of the National Museum here Saturday amid an angry protest by placard and banner-waving artists. It was sent as a special cargo aboard a Bangladesh Air Force aircraft, The New Nation newspaper said Sunday.

Sri Lankan Muslim party under pressure on budget vote

Colombo(Xinhua) : Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), an ally in the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse, has come under pressure from its membership not to support the government in the key vote to take place Dec 14, party officials said Sunday.

"A majority of our executive committee members feel that we should abstain from voting," said a party official who wanted to remain unnamed.

Iraq witnesses lowest death toll since February 2006

Baghdad(Xinhua) : The death toll across Iraq in November dropped to its lowest level since the breakout of sectarian strife in February last year, a government report said.

The report compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence said Saturday that a total of 606 Iraqis, including 537 civilians, were killed in the past month.

The casualties of November are the lowest since the sectarian bloodshed came to an escalation following the blast at a holy Shia mosque in February 2006.

Militants kill 11 villagers in Iraq

Baghdad(Xinhua) : At least 11 people were killed and five injured in an attack by Al Qaeda guerrillas on a Shia village northeast of Baghdad, a police source said Saturday.

Dozens of Al Qaeda militants launched a series of mortar and machine gun attacks overnight and Saturday morning on Dwailiyah village, said the source. The village is near the town of Maqdadiyah, 100 km northeast of Baghdad.

Adnan al-Bawi, the chieftain of the al-Bawi tribe in the village, was among the dead. Several houses were also damaged in the attacks.

Israeli air strike on Gaza kills five Hamas militants

Gaza(DPA) : Five Islamic Hamas militants were killed and seven wounded before dawn Saturday in the southern Gaza Strip in missile strikes by Israeli aircraft, medics and witnesses said.

Hamas sources said that five militants from the groups' armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, were killed and seven wounded in an air strike carried out by Israeli helicopters against guard stations in Abbassan, a village in southern Gaza.

Al-Qassam Brigades leaders usually ask their militants to guard the Gaza borders overnight to foil any Israeli ground thrust into the Hamas-ruled territory.

US, West partly responsible for Pakistan crisis: Musharraf

Islamabad(IANS) : President Pervez Musharraf has blamed US and other western powers of being partly responsible for the current political crisis in Pakistan.

In an expansive interview, Musharraf, who was sworn in as the country's civilian president Thursday for a term of five years after shedding his military uniform, maintained that if the coming elections created a situation that was "unacceptable" to him he would step down.

"If the situation develops in a manner which is absolutely unacceptable to me, I have a choice of leaving," he said in an interview to ABC, reports Dawn.

US Congressional team meets Musharraf

Islamabad(IANS) : A visiting US Congressional delegation during a meeting with President Pervez Musharraf underlined the importance of holding free, fair and transparent elections and also praised the steps taken by the president for the "restoration of full democracy in the country".

The four-member Congressional delegation led by Senator Bob Corker called on the president in Rawalpindi and discussed with him the recent political developments in the country, Pakistan-US relations and counter-terrorism, reports Dawn.

India supports UN resolution on Palestine

By Parveen Chopra

New York(IANS) : India has supported the UN resolution endorsing the Middle East peace conference in the US city of Annapolis in Maryland earlier this week.

In his statement to the General Assembly Friday, E. Ahamed, the Indian minister of state for external affairs, said: "India welcomes the Joint Understanding reached by the president of Palestine and the prime pinister of Israel at Annapolis.

Bhutto still open to election boycott

Islamabad(DPA) : Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto Friday did not rule out joining other opposition leaders in boycotting forthcoming parliamentary elections after President Pervez Musharraf kept a state of emergency in place.

Musharraf, who resigned as army chief Wednesday and was sworn in for another five-year term as president the next morning, told the nation during a televised address Thursday night that the emergency would not be lifted before Dec 16.

That date is significant because it is one day after the deadline for the withdrawal of nomination papers.