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Hafiz Saeed lambasts Pakistan minister for ‘state hand’ remark

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Hafiz Saeed

The Hafiz Sayeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa on Thursday hit out at a Pakistani provincial minister over his startling revelations made on Wednesday.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in an interview to the BBC Urdu service on Wednesday said that action was not possible against the proscribed organisations like JuD and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as the “state itself is involved” in their activities.

The minister’s statement drew ire on Thursday of the JuD, one of the groups he mentioned. It said Pakistan’s Supreme Court had earlier stated that there was no ban on the JuD led by Hafiz Sayeed, India’s most wanted man.

“Rana is deliberately creating confusion in order to support a concocted agenda,” a JuD spokesman said.

Rana Sanaullah told the media outside the Punjab assembly that his statement was quoted out of context by the channel while he made it in the context of the state’s policy on Kashmir. He said he would not comment further on the issue.

The minister in his BBC interview had said that legal action against the proscribed organisations like the JuD and JeM was not possible since “state itself” is involved.

Rana said these organisations are banned, but “how can someone proceed with legal action when state is itself involved in the case?”

India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to hand over JeM chief Masood Azhar, who it has claimed to be the mastermind of Pathankot terror attack that left seven Indian security men killed.

JuD chief Hafiz Sayeed is the most wanted terrorist in India. He is believed to be the mastermind behind the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks that left over 160 people dead, including many foreign nationals.

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”Trump wanted to sell Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria”

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017 and caused an estimated 2,982 fatalities and US $90 billion in damage, according to official data.

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Trump Sell Puerto Rico

Washington, July 13 : US President Donald Trump considered selling Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the destructive Hurricane Maria in 2017, former acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke has told the New York Times.

In an interview with the newspaper on Friday, Duke said that “the president”s initial ideas were more of as a businessman”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Can we outsource the electricity? Can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?” Trump reportedly said, according to the New York Times interview.

Nonetheless, the idea of selling the US territory was never seriously considered or discussed after it was raised, Duke said.

Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017 and caused an estimated 2,982 fatalities and US $90 billion in damage, according to official data.

Trump has criticized Puerto Rican officials for their management of the relief fund that his administration provided for the island”s recovery. In November 2018, White House officials told Congress that Trump didn”t want any additional relief funding to the island.

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Pope ”pained” by Hagia Sophia mosque decision

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the first Muslim prayers would be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24.

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Hagia Sophia Mosque

Vatican City, July 13 : Pope Francis has said he”s “pained” by Turkey”s decision to convert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.

Speaking at a service in the Vatican, the Roman Catholic leader added that his “thoughts go to Istanbul”, the BBC reported.

Hagia Sophia was built as a Christian cathedral nearly 1,500 years ago and turned into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of 1453.

The Unesco World Heritage Site became a museum in 1934 under Turkish Republic founding father Ataturk.

But earlier this week a Turkish court annulled the site”s museum status, saying its use as anything other than a mosque was “not possible legally”.

Pope Francis confined himself to a few words on the issue: “My thoughts go to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sophia and I am very pained.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the first Muslim prayers would be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24.

Shortly after the announcement, the first call to prayer was recited at the site and broadcast on all of Turkey”s main news channels. Hagia Sophia”s social media channels have also been taken down.

Islamists in Turkey have long called for it to become a mosque again but secular opposition members opposed the move.

Defending the decision, President Erdogan stressed that the country had exercised its sovereign right, and he added that the building would remain open to all Muslims, non-Muslims and foreign visitors.

The Pope is one of several religious and political leaders worldwide who have criticised the move.

The World Council of Churches has called on President Erdogan to reverse the decision. The Church in Russia, home to the world”s largest Orthodox Christian community, immediately expressed regret that the Turkish court had not taken its concerns into account when ruling on Hagia Sophia.

It has also drawn condemnation from Greece, and Unesco said its World Heritage Committee would now review the monument”s status.

One of Turkey”s most famous authors, Orhan Pamuk, told the BBC that the decision would take away the “pride” some Turks had in being a secular Muslim nation.

“There are millions of secular Turks like me who are crying against this but their voices are not heard,” said Pamuk.

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Disaster

Iran’s Khamenei says all must help fight ‘tragic’ virus resurgence

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Ali Khamenei

Everyone must help fight the “tragic” resurgence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says.

Speaking in a video conference to parliamentarians, Khamenei stated that Iran’s “enemies” fail to achieve their “anti-Iran goals” despite strong pressure on Tehran.

Earlier, Khamenei criticized the US for using “knee on neck” policies on the whole world and also accused the US of creating COVID-19.

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