The South Asia Channel
Islamic State Radio Station Back on the Air in Afghanistan; Pakistan Ulema Council Issues Fatwa Against Islamic State; Rawat Returns As the Chief Minister of Uttarkhand; Jammat-i-Islami Leader Hanged for “Rape and Genocide” in 1971
Afghanistan Islamic State radio station back on the air in Afghanistan After being taken out by U.S. airstrikes in February, the Islamic State (IS) radio station “Voice of the Caliphate” is broadcasting again on an FM frequency from Nangarhar province on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (VOA). According to the governor of Nangarhar’s Achin district, Haji Ghaleb ...
Islamic State radio station back on the air in Afghanistan
After being taken out by U.S. airstrikes in February, the Islamic State (IS) radio station “Voice of the Caliphate” is broadcasting again on an FM frequency from Nangarhar province on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (VOA). According to the governor of Nangarhar’s Achin district, Haji Ghaleb Mujahed, the broadcasts occur daily for one hour in the morning and for one and a half hours in the evening in the Dehbala, Ghanikhail, and Achin districts. The broadcasts can be heard in Arabic, Punjabi, Pashto, and Dari languages. However, Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesperson for the Nangarhar governor, told VOA, “We are not aware that this (radio) is back. The radio has been shut down and does not exist. If the radio has started broadcasts, it will be taken off air soon.”
Blast in Nangarhar kills 11, wounds 23
A suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle, killed 11 people, and wounded 23 others near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Tuesday (RFE/RL, AP). (Casualty numbers vary depending on the source.) The provincial police chief, Gen. Zarawar Zahid, said that women and children were included in casualties. The general noted that the attack targeted local tribal elder Malik Dehqan who was among those injured in Nazyan district. Dehqan is known for organizing local, informal militias to combat insurgents. Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial government, said, “The tribal elder Malik Dehqan encourages people to join the uprising forces against Islamic State militants and Taliban in the area.” No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Bonus Read: “A Landmark Women’s Rights Bill Could Decide Pakistan’s Future,” by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid (FP)
Pakistan Ulema Council issues fatwa against Islamic State
Clerics associated with the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC), a group of roughly 110,000 Muslim clerics and scholars, this week issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against the Islamic State (IS) and “other terrorists and extremist groups” (VOA). The fatwa singles out IS and Hezbollah as groups that “tag their opponents with infidelity edicts to justify the killings and massacres.” It also forbids the use of religious terms like “Jihad Fi-Sabi Lillah” and “Qital Fi-Sabi Lillah.” The first means jihad for the sake of God and the second means murder for the sake of God or any “extremism or terrorism” act.
Ex-president Gen. Musharraf declared “absconder” in treason case
On Wednesday, a three-member special court handling former Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s treason case declared him an absconder for his failure to appear before the court despite repeated summons (Dawn). Per the court’s direction, the prosecutor is to arrange the publishing of advertisements in Urdu and English newspapers and put up posters outside the court and Musharraf’s residences in Islamabad and Karachi that declare him an absconder. The Federal Investigation Agency was told by the court to get Musharraf before the court within 30 days. Though notices demanding Musharraf’s attendance were served at his residences, he reportedly did not show up in court because he is abroad. Musharraf went to Dubai in March for medical treatment
Ali Haider Gilani back in Lahore
After three years in captivity, Ali Haider Gilani, the son of ex-president Yousaf Raza Gilani, is back in Lahore after being recovered by joint U.S.-Afghan special forces in Afghanistan this week (ET). Gilani was kidnapped in his hometown of Multan, in Punjab province, in May of 2013 during a campaign rally for his attempted election to the Punjab provincial assembly. Gilani said, “I would like to thank the Afghan government and U.S. forces for their efforts. It takes a lot of effort to bring back someone from another country. I am looking forward to being reunited with my family and going back to my normal life.”
Rawat returns as the Chief Minister of Uttarkhand
The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday declared that Harish Rawat of the Congress Party should be reinstated as the Chief Minister of the northern state of Uttarkhand, after he won the vote of confidence from the state legislature yesterday (HT, Hindu, NDTV). In accordance with the court’s orders, the federal government revoked President’s Rule — direct rule of the state by the federal government — in the state immediately. Previously, the Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Uttarkhand High Court to dismiss President’s Rule in the state, ordering a vote of confidence for the government in the legislature. Uttarkhand High Court said that the federal government acted in “blatant falsehood” and that the speaker of the state assembly had “double standards,” with regards to dismissing nine Congress members on disciplinary grounds.
India to tax investments from Mauritius
The Indian government announced on Wednesday that starting next year, India will start imposing capital gains tax on investments coming from the island nation of Mauritius (Reuters). This has become possible after the two countries agreed to amend a 1983 treaty that brought in billions of dollars in investment to the Mauritius but was suspected of helping Indian investors evade taxes.
From April 2017, investments made from Mauritius to India will be subject to a capital gains tax, at about half of the rate on domestic investments. From March 2019, the full rate will apply for all companies. The treaty has been a cornerstone of Mauritius’ rise as a financial centre but Indian governments have long suspected that a significant portion of the declared “investments” are not real foreign investments, but come from rich Indians routing cash through the island to avoid Indian taxes.
Jammat-i-Islami leader hanged for “rape and genocide” in 1971
On Wednesday, Bangladesh hanged Motiur Rahman Nizami, the former chief of the country’s largest Islamist political party Bangladesh Jammat-i-Islami for war crimes committed during the 1971 War of Independance, including rape and genocide (NDTV, Reuters). The 72-year-old Nizami was sentenced in October 2014 by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) of Bangladesh.
Nizami, a former minister who served in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led government from 2001-2006, is one of the most high profile convictions by the ICT. The current government has been criticized for lack of transparency in the ICT trials and using these trials to target opposition parties.
–Albert Ford and Shuja Malik
Edited by Peter Bergen
NOORULLAH SHIRZADA/AFP/Getty Images
Albert Ford is a research assistant with the International Security Program at New America.