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Saudi Arabia: Qatar Not Allowing Riyadh for Lifting Hajj Pilgrims



Saudi Arabia: Qatar Not Allowing Riyadh for Lifting Hajj Pilgrims

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Experts believe crisis far from over

Saudi Arabia, which led three other countries in severing ties with Qatar in early June this year, is now complaining Doha of not allowing its plane to lift Qatari pilgrims for performing Hajj. King Salman has recently offered free transportation of Qatari citizens by their official carrier Saudi Airlines.

According to Saudi Press Agency, Saleh al-Jasser, the Director General of the airline, said on Sunday that their aircraft have not been given permission to land in Doha to pick up pilgrims. He further elaborated saying, “Qatari authorities have not allowed the aircraft to land as it did not have the right paperwork, although the paperwork was filed days ago.”

Earlier on Wednesday King Salman had ordered the dispatch of a Saudi Arabia Airlines plane to fly Qatari pilgrims to Jeddah at his own expense. Riyadh had also announced re-opening of its land borders with Qatar to allow pilgrims’ access to Mecca. However, not a single convoy has registered movement on the immigration point till date. The Hajj will be performed between August 30 and September 4 this year. All pilgrims should be present in the kingdom during this time.

Aljazeera reports that Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has denied Saudi claim of refusing permission to Saudi Airlines to fly Qatari Hajj pilgrims. Qatari News Agency says that Saudi Airlines was advised to coordinate the request with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs through the Qatari Hajj Delegation. The two offices function under Doha government’s supervision. CAA says that their response was in accordance with the procedures followed in the past.

However, Qatar hailed the Saudi move, but stressed that it was politically motivated and voiced concern about the safety of its citizens in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj pilgrimage.

Since the blockade Doha has not fulfilled any of  the13 demands put forwarded by Saudi led quartet. They included severing ties with Iran, closing Turkish army base in its territory and shutting down Aljazeera news network. Qatar has not only denied supporting terrorism, instead Qatar Special Envoy Mutlaq Majed al-Qahtani, in an opinion piece recently published in Wall Street Journal has  recalled  that fifteen of the 19 hijackers in 9/11 attacks were Saudis. He has also alleged that thousands of Saudi citizens have taken up arms to join Islamic State (IS) and other radical groups.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE had severed their diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on June 5. They advised their citizens to return from Qatar and also asked Qataris to leave from their respective countries within 48 hours.

The four boycotting countries also closed their airspace for Qatar Airways. Since then the airline has stopped using their airspace by rerouting their flights through alternative paths including Iranian skies.

In a bid to relax the Saudi led siege, Qatar has recently announced to allow citizens of 80 countries, including India, to travel to their country without obtaining prior visa.

It would be interesting to note that a little known Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani of Qatar was recently welcomed in Riyadh by Crown Prince Mohammd bin Salman and then jetted off to Morocco, where Saudi King Salman hosted him at his vacation spot in Tangir. However Qatari government said that he was on a personal visit while some media outlets, considered to be close to Riyadh, portrayed it as a triumphant diplomatic effort.

According to Saudi owned Al-Arabia news network, the Sheikh is a scion of a ruling branch that was in power for decades until 1972. His brother Ahmad was deposed by Sheikh’s Tamim’s grandfather. The little known Sheikh has written on his twitter handle, “The king has honored me by accepting my mediation on behalf of my people in Qatar.” He has become social media celebrity attracting 250,000 followers within three days.

The visit of the Qatari prince was followed by Riyadh’s announcement of opening borders with Qatar and offered to dispatch planes at its own expanses.

Meanwhile, Al-Bayan, a Dubai based daily, quoted political analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdulla saying that promoting Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani is probably part of a plan to add pressure on Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, who has refused to capitulate to the quartet’s 13 conditions for ending the feud.

Abdulkhaleq Abdullah further said, “Saudi Arabia has many pressure tools that it hasn’t used until now and this is one of them.” He denied that Saudi led alliance is currently pursuing a policy to change the Qatari leadership. Yet should Saudi Arabia decide that is needed, it can mobilize a support network within Qatari society and the ruling family “to spur a palace coup,” he said.

Meanwhile Andreas Krieg, a lecturer at King’s College in London has said that sheikh is a London based businessman with commercial interests in the Gulf, but lacks public support that will help propel him to power. His emergence serves as a way of telling Qatari leaders and global powers that the crisis is far from over.

So far several mediation efforts have failed in resolving Qatar crisis. Kuwait’s emir has tried for mediation while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and foreign ministers of France and Germany have also visited the region.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest world news

Pakistan man sentenced to death for sharing blasphemous content on WhatsApp

The accused, identified as Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, was also fined Rs 1.2 million or $4300 and awarded imprisonment of total of 23 years.



Pakistan man sentenced to death for sharing blasphemous content on WhatsApp

Pakistan court on Friday gave a death sentence to a Muslim man for posting blasphemous content in a WhatsApp group. The accused was convicted under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act and Anti-Terrorist Act by a Peshawar court.

The accused, identified as Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, was also fined Rs 1.2 million or $4300 and awarded imprisonment of total of 23 years.

The court in an order said that an accused Syed Muhammad Zeeshan, son of Syed Zakaullah in custody has been convicted and sentenced after being found guilty. Zeeshan, a resident of the northwest city of Mardan, has the right to appeal against the court’s conviction order on the highly-sensitive issue of blasphemy in Pakistan.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive topic in Pakistan, a country with a majority of Muslims, where even unverified accusations can incite mobs and violence.

Zeeshan was undergoing court proceedings in the same case for almost two years after Muhammad Saeed, a resident of Talagang in Punjab province, accused him of posting blasphemous content in a WhatsApp group. Saeed filed an application with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in 2021 againsy Zeeshan for blasphemous content.

As per the reports, the FIA had confiscated Zeeshan’s cell-phone and its forensic examination proved him guilty.

In the past 20 years, 774 Muslims and 760 members of various minority religious groups have reportedly faced blasphemy charges, according to the National Commission of Justice and Peace, a human rights and legal help organisation in Pakistan.

Last month, Pakistan banned Wikipedia after it refused to remove the allegedly offensive or blasphemy material from the website.

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Latest world news

Five news stations receive letter bombs in Ecuador, one explodes in journalist’s face

Minister says the bombs were sent as a clear message to silence journalists in violence-ridden Ecuador



Police officials searching for bombs in a new station in Ecuador

Ecuadorean authorities have reported that a series of letter bombs were mailed to five different TV and radio new stations in Ecaudor. The explosive devices were delivered to journalists on Monday, March 20.

Interior Minister Juan Zapata informed that one of these letters exploded in Guayaquil’s Ecuavisa private TV station. The bomb burst in the middle of the newsroom in presenter Lenin Artieda’s face. He was injured but not severely. Lenin informed the police that the device was structured like a USB drive, and it exploded as he plugged it into his computer.

Zapata added that all the devices were similar and sent from the town of Quimsaloma, on the Los Rios coast. The Ecuadorean attorney-general’s department has begun their investigation on the letters as an act of terrorism. Journalists have said that the bombs were sent to intimidate the free press and silence the media.

 Zapata also said that the government condemns such attacks and freedom of expression is a right that must be respected. The other four explosives sent through post never exploded as they failed or were never opened.

Police officer Xavier Chango informed the USB drive sent to Artieda seemed to be loaded with a military-type explosive RDX.

Ecuador lies between Colombia and Peru, the world’s two largest cocaine producers, and has become a hub for global drug trade in the recent years. The increased violence is a result of competition and clashes between drug criminal gangs for territory and charge.

In 2022, the RTS TV station came under gunfire attack and in 2020, a bomb exploded at Teleamazonas. President Guillermo Lasso had declared war on the gangs controlling drug trade from prisons, and has led to the death of more than 400 inmates since 2021. Ecuador’s murder rate has jumped from 14 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021 to 25 per 100,000 in 2022.

Two local gangs, the Lobos and Los Tiguerones, working with Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation cartel, have been responsible for these deadly prison riots. The Jalisco cartel is considered one of the five most dangerous criminal organizations in the world and its leader, Nemesio Oseguera, aka El Mencho, is among the most wanted by both Mexican and U.S. authorities.

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India News

Earthquake leaves 11 dead in Pakistan, tremors shake North India

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled parts of Northern India on Tuesday night, left at least 11 people dead and over 160 others wounded in neighboring Pakistan, reports said.



Pakistan Earthquake

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled parts of Northern India on Tuesday night, left at least 11 people dead and over 160 others wounded in neighboring Pakistan, reports said.

According to reports by Pakistani media, tremors were felt in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawar, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, and other areas of the country. In a statement, Pakistan Meteorological Department said the epicenter of the quake—which hit at a depth of 180 kilometers, at a latitude of 36.09 and a longitude of 71.35. — was the seismically active Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan.

Reports said that tremors and aftershocks were also witnessed in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Kot Momin, Madh Ranjha, Chakwal, Kohat and in Gilgit-Baltistan areas.

Pakistani news channels showed panicked citizens running out of their home and on the streets to seek refuge from the tremors.

According to a report by Pakistan-based Geo News, eleven people, including two women were killed while over 160 people were injured due to the earthquake.

Read Also: Delhi Police crackdown on anti-Modi posters, police arrest 4 including owner of printing press, 44 cases registered

The strong jolts also led to the collapse of several buildings in impacted regions while a stamped was witnessed in markets of Rawalpindi when the earthquake hit, according to The Express Tribune newspaper.

State-run Associated Press of Pakistan released a statement by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who has directed disaster management authorities to remain vigilant to handle any situation while Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel declared an emergency in Islamabad hospitals.

A statement by the international seismological centre said that apart from Pakistan, tremors were also felt in India, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China and Kyrgyzstan.

Tremors of the earthquake, that hit at around 10:17 pm on Tuesday night, were felt across Northern India including Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. However, no casualties were reported. However, reports of damages to buildings are coming in from different parts of North India.

6.6 magnitude earthquake hits Delhi-NCR

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