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Headline News 16/09/2022

Headlines:

Muslim Community Leaders Come Together to Sing 'God Save the King'

Ukraine’s Sudden Gains Prompt New Questions for Commanders

Imran Meets ex-US Diplomat Robin Raphael

Details:
Muslim Community Leaders Come Together to Sing 'God Save the King'

Muslims in central London sang the national anthem in a UK mosque for the first time since Queen Elizabeth II's death. Worshippers attended a service at the Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park to honour the life of the queen and to mark the accession of King Charles III. Ahmad Al Dubayan, of the Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque, said the purpose was “to show the sympathies and feelings of the Muslim communities in the UK”. He said that the queen was “loved by everybody” and that Muslims he knew were “so grateful and acknowledge all the things she did.” He praised the queen’s commitment to multiculturalism and her “devotion for the service of everybody that made the UK an oasis of freedom”. The national anthem was sung as the service ended, which organisers said was the first time since the queen’s death that God Save the King has been sung in a UK mosque.  Chairman of the Prince’s Trust International Board, Shabir Randeree, was present and described it as a “very moving moment”. “It raised the hairs on the back of my neck for two reasons,” he said. “First, I was thrilled to be standing in a mosque singing God Save the King. And the second, I was deeply touched of course in trying to remember the Queen.” “It was a momentous moment and a very touching moment.” “The Muslim community are united with everyone, and you’ve seen an outpouring of grief, not just from the Muslim community but from all communities in the UK, and, dare I say, in the Commonwealth and worldwide as well. “I think it’s very important for the Muslim community to be out here and to say what they felt, and to also have the royal family and others and the entire country notice that they mourn deeply the passing of the monarch.” He said: “I think King Charles will carry on the work of the queen in terms of interfaith relations. It’s an area in which he’s had a deep passion. “Having all communities interact is at the very core of his belief.” [Source: The National]

The present British Royal family has presided over several atrocities committed by Her Majesty’s government across the Muslim world, the most recent being the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet despite this, Muslims in the UK appear confused by their identity. Allegiance is first and foremost to Allah and His Messenger (saw) and not the Queen or King!

Ukraine’s Sudden Gains Prompt New Questions for Commanders

Ukraine’s military is gauging how far its forces can press the attack, at risk of their ability to hold the new lines. Russian leaders are trying to regroup after a dramatic, demoralizing rout. After Ukraine’s stunning offensive in its northeast drove Russian forces into a chaotic retreat and reshaped the battlefield by hundreds of miles, Ukrainian leaders on Monday were weighing critical gambles that could determine the near-term course of the war. Stretching the Ukrainian forces — a military still much smaller and far less equipped than its Russian foe — too far could leave the troops vulnerable to attack. Moving too slow, or in the wrong place, could leave an opportunity squandered. And waiting too long could allow the front lines to freeze as winter sets in.  By expelling Russian troops from a large slice of strategic territory in the northeastern Kharkiv region, Ukrainian forces are now positioned to make a move on the Donbas, the industrialized eastern territory that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has made central to his war aims. Just before flooding troops across the border in February, Mr. Putin declared the Donbas independent from Ukraine, and he held up the region’s sovereignty as a key justification for the invasion. Russia now has control of nearly 90 percent of the Donbas, where its military shifted much of its focus after a staggering defeat around the capital, Kyiv, in the spring. If Ukraine were to retake even a part of the region, it would be an embarrassing blow to the Kremlin. On Monday, the Ukrainian military claimed to have advanced over the past day into an additional 20 Ukrainian towns and villages in the Kharkiv region that had been under Russian control, adding to the hundreds of square miles it has retaken in the northeast. It also said it had recaptured nearly 200 square miles in the southern Kherson region in recent days, as its forces try to cut off thousands of Russian forces stationed west of the Dnipro River. The military’s assertions could not be independently verified, but Western analysts, including at the Pentagon, said that the Ukrainians were overall making gains as quickly as Russian forces were falling back. Russian officials face their own hard questions, especially with a growing backlash to their “special military operation” from pro-war voices at home. Russia’s military leaders, analysts say, will have to take a cleareyed look at the reality of their forces’ current conditions — depleted and demoralized in some areas — to determine how much of Moscow’s goals they can accomplish in the coming months, if any. [Source: The New York Times]

The new gains by Ukraine demonstrate how well the US has used Ukrainian troops equipped with American weapons to give the Russians a bloody nose. This is reminiscent of the US equipping Afghan Mujahhideen to deal a similar fate to Russian troops in Afghanistan. And it appears that the Russians have not learnt from the failures of their foreign ventures.

Imran Meets ex-US Diplomat Robin Raphael

Former US diplomat and CIA analyst Ms Robin Raphael Sunday called on PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan at Banigala. was learnt that both discussed matters of mutual interest, mainly in the backdrop of Pakistan-US relations. Opposition Leader in the Senate Dr Shehzad Waseem was also present in the meeting. There was no statement about the meeting from any PTI leader, the spokesperson or the central media department. PTI’s senior vice president and former information minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain also met US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome at the American Embassy on September 8. Back in 1993, Robin Raphel was appointed by the-then President Bill Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. The PTI leadership’s interaction with the US officials is being seen as an attempt to promote good relations with Washington. A few weeks back, it was widely reported in the media that the PTI had hired an American lobbying and PR firm at a cost of $25,000 per month to manage its public and media relations in the United States. Documents filed with the US Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) show lobbying firm Fenton/Arlook will provide public relations services, including but not limited to distributing information to and briefing journalists, placing articles and broadcasts, arranging interviews with representatives or supporters of PTI, advising on social media efforts and other such public relations services. The contract between the firm and PTI-USA Inc has been signed for a period of six months. The contract mentions that the client does not include PTI, the political party registered in Pakistan. The FARA documents under its clauses also highlight, “PTI USA is in certain instances directed by the foreign political party in Pakistan.” Likewise, it has also been reported and discussed in political circles and the formal and informal media that an American consulting firm, run by a former CIA station chief in Islamabad, has come into the limelight that was hired on behalf of PTI to lobby and provide advice on Pakistan-US relations. Robert Laurent Grenier of Grenier Consulting LLC was hired last year when PTI was still in power. The agreement with the firm was signed by Iftikhar ur Rehman Durrani in July 2021 under the “supervision of senior [PTI] party officials and under the direction of Pakistan government officials”. [Source: The News International]

Even the layman is beginning to question Khan’s sincerity against the backdrop of meetings with ex US officials, whilst holding America responsible for Khan’s removal from office. Khan’s mantra of imported government increasingly appears to describe his efforts to appease the US and pave the way for him to take power.

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