International News

International News (39)


To mark the Kashmir Black Day on 27 October 2020, the Embassy of Pakistan held a Webinar titled "ISLAMOPHOBIA – Effects on Humanitarian Aspects of Muslim Minority Communities in South Asia: Kashmir Perspective". This was the third program this month which was held in connection with the Kashmir Black Day.
The Speakers included
1- Prof. Dr. Yusny Saby
2 -Mr. Jamal Nasir, Charge d'Affaires of Pakistan Embassy Jakarta.
3 -Drs. Nur Munir, Head of IMERC, University of Indonesia
4 -Dr. Surwandono S.Sos., M.Si Head of Magister Program of International Relations Department Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta
5 -Khairunnisa Simbolon, MA - Lecturer in International Relations Department Universitas Lampung

Charge d'Affaires Mr. Jamal Nasir delivered a detailed presentation on the rising wave of Islamophobia, reasons behind the rise of Islamophobia, and Implications on the Muslim communities around the world in general, and South Asia in particular.

He specifically highlighted the plight of Muslims in India, especially in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) where the Indian occupation forces have unleashed a reign of terror and brutalities.

Mr. Nasir emphasized that India, under the RSS inspired regime, is systematically suppressing the religious minorities, Muslims in particular.

He quoted recent statements by the Top Leadership of the ruling BJP where they refuse to consider Muslims as equal citizens.

He also highlighted various discriminatory policies introduced by the current Indian Government, including the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and the NRC.

He also spoke about the brutal lynching of Muslims by Cow Vigilantes, demolition of Mosques, and the recent killing of 50 Muslims in Feb 2020 when they were protesting against the Government's discriminatory policies.

Other speakers also presented their views on the topic and stressed the need for that the International Community should take notice of the situation in the IIOJK.

The Webinar was attended by more than 160 participants including Deans of Universities, Professors, Lecturers, Researchers, Members of Religious Organizations, and Students. (VOI)


The Saudi Arabian Cabinet on Tuesday (27/10/2020) renewed its statement of rejection of any attempts to link Islam and terrorism.

The cabinet also condemns cartoons that offend the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, as quoted from Al Arabiya, Wednesday (28/10/2020).

However, the statement does not refer to calls in some Muslim countries to boycott French products over images of the Prophet displayed in France.

The statement added that the cabinet also renewed "its condemnation and rejection of any terrorist act or practice and acts that give rise to hatred, violence, and extremism," while emphasizing that intellectual freedom is a means of respect, tolerance, and peace. (RRI)


The Malaysian government is deeply concerned about the increasingly open hostility towards Muslims and condemns rhetoric that incites provocative actions that tarnish the good name of Islam.

"We strongly condemn the inciting rhetoric and provocative actions that seek to tarnish the good name of Islam as witnessed by the world recently in the form of populist speeches and the publication of blasphemous caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad," said Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Seri Hishamuddin Hussein in his statement in Putrajaya, Wednesday.

Malaysia is committed to upholding freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental human right as long as these rights are exercised with respect and responsibility so as not to violate or violate the rights of others.

"In this context, to humiliate and tarnish the Holy Prophet of Islam and associate Islam with terrorism is outside those rights," he said, adding that such actions are provocative and disrespectful to Islam and over two billion Muslims worldwide.

"As a democratic and moderate Islamic country with a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, Malaysia continues to promote and maintain harmonious relations and peaceful coexistence, not only among our people of different religions and beliefs but also in a global context that diverse communities," he said.

Malaysia will continue to work with the international community to promote mutual respect between religions and prevent religious extremism at all levels.

Earlier, the opposition leader who is also PKR president Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim said the statement by French President Emmanuel Macron that Islam is facing a world crisis is attacking because it makes little sense.

"This promotes a deadlock. It makes 'problems' only Muslim matters from a destructive perspective embedded in French doctrine. There is no defense for violence and murder, which is a misguided killer monster that misleads Islam," he said.

He also expressed his condolences to Samuel Paty for all the victims.


Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan asked his compatriots to stop buying French goods on Monday in the latest expression of anger in the Muslim world over images being displayed in France of the Prophet Mohammad, which some Muslims consider blasphemous.
In Bangladesh on Monday, protesters held placards with a caricature of French President Emmanuel Macron and the words: “Macron is the enemy of peace”, while Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris.

Erdogan, who has a history of fraught relations with Macron, said France was pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.

“I am calling to all my citizens from here to never help French brands or buy them,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish president has made similar boycott calls in the past, including an appeal not to buy U.S. electronic goods in 2018 that was not followed through.

Erdogan on Monday joined a chorus of voices calling for a boycott. In Kuwait city, a supermarket had stripped its shelves of L’Oreal cosmetics and skincare products after the cooperative union to which it belongs decided to stop stocking French goods.

In Saudi Arabia, calls for a boycott of French supermarket chain Carrefour were trending on social media, though two stores Reuters visited in the Saudi capital on Monday seemed as busy as normal. A company representative in France said it had yet to feel any impact.

France is a major exporter of grain to mainly-Muslim North Africa, and French companies in the autos and retail sector also have significant exposure to majority-Muslim countries

French Trade Minister Franck Riester said it was too early to put a figure on the impact of the boycott campaign but so far it was limited and mainly affected French agricultural exports. (Reuters)


As part of series of events being held in commemoration of the “Kashmir Black Day” (observed on 27 October every year), the Embassy of Pakistan held a Seminar on Monday in the Chancery, on the Topic “Jammu & Kashmir Dispute-Past, Present, and Future".

The event was held while complying with the SOPs of the Indonesian Government.

The Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy, Mr. Jamal Nasir delivered a detailed presentation covering the introduction of Pakistan’s History, Geography, Strategic location, and Regional Dynamics.

He discussed various issues faced by the world including the rising wave of Islamophobia, US-China trade war, Covid-19 Crisis, Great powers contestation in the Indo-Pacific Region, Unrest in the Middle East, Afghan Peace Deal, and India’s hegemonic posture in the South Asian region with special reference to the recent problems created by India with its neighbors, including Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Subsequently, Mr. Nasir highlighted the importance and history of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute and the significance of Kashmir Black Day. He described in detail, the ongoing wave of intolerance and state-sponsored repression against minorities (especially Muslims) in India with special reference to the plight of the Muslims of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK).

Quoting the recent illegal attempts aimed towards changing the demography of IIOJK by the Indian Government, Mr. Nasir conveyed Pakistan’s strong rejection of these illegal acts and expressed the resolve of the Government of Pakistan to fight the case of Jammu & Kashmir at all forums.

He also spoke about the targeted hatred and discrimination against Muslims in India by the Modi Government such as the Babri Mosque verdict, the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC), and lynching of Muslims by the cow vigilantes.

Mr. Nasir also covered various other aspects of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute including gross Human Rights Violations, Sexual abuse and violence against women and Children, Hindutva ideology of the RSS inspired Modi Government, the non-implementation of the UNSC resolutions by India, and Pakistan’s desire to resolve all issues with India, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, through dialogue, in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Later on, Drs. Nur Munir, The Head of Islamic and Middle Eastern Research Centre Jakarta, Mr. Abu Aly, the Head of Inter-Agencies Relation of UIN, Dr. Zahir Khan, former Indonesian Ambassador, and the current Head of Kashmir Solidarity Forum also spoke at the occasion.

The Seminar was attended by academics, scholars, intellectuals, researchers, members of political and religious organizations, and students. (VOI)


South Korea urged citizens to get vaccinated against influenza and reduce the chances of an outbreak that coincides with the battle on the coronavirus, as it kicked off free inoculations for the last eligible group.

Public anxiety over the safety of flu vaccines has surged after at least 48 people died this month following vaccinations, while, last month, about 5 million doses had to be disposed of after not being stored at recommended temperatures.

Authorities have said they found no direct link between the deaths and the flu shots and have sought to reassure South Koreans about the safety of the vaccines against flu, a disease that kills at least 3,000 each year.

“Vaccination offers far greater benefits compared to side effects, and both the WHO and domestic and overseas experts agree,” Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told a briefing on Sunday, in a reference to the World Health Organization.

Last year, more than 1,500 elderly people died within seven days of receiving flu vaccines, but those deaths were not linked to the vaccinations, the government said.

As South Korea presses on with its inoculations, southeast Asia’s tiny city-state of Singapore became one of the first nations this week to call a temporary halt to the use of two influenza vaccines, as a precaution.

Singapore has reported no deaths linked to flu vaccinations.

South Korea ordered 20% more flu vaccines this year to ward off the prospect of what it calls a “twindemic” of concurrent major flu and coronavirus outbreaks in winter.

At least 1,154 instances of adverse reactions have been reported from among more than 9.4 million people inoculated since the effort began in September. (Reuters)


Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin faced calls to resign on Monday as doubts swirled over the support that he commands, after the king rejected his request to declare a state of emergency to fight the coronavirus epidemic.

Muhyiddin had requested emergency rule amid a fresh spike in infections in Malaysia and global pandemic that has battered the economy. But critics accused him of using seeking a pretext to suspend parliament and avoid a test of his razor-thin parliamentary majority.

King Al-Sultan Abdullah’s refusal is seen further eroding Muhyiddin’s grip on power, a month after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he has majority support in parliament, including from defectors from the ruling alliance, to form a new government.

Turning down Muhyiddin’s request on Sunday, the king also asked politicians to end any politicking that could destabilize a government that he said has handled the pandemic well.

But leaders of other parties in Muhyiddin’s coalition and the opposition criticized his move to seek emergency powers and called on him to step down after the bid failed.

“Thankfully, His Majesty the King was not influenced by the political game that could drag the country into the more critical territory,” said Ahmad Puad Zarkashi, a senior leader in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) - the largest party in the ruling coalition - said in a post on Facebook.

“The people’s well-being is more important. By right, Muhyiddin should step down,” Ahmad Puad said.

Opposition lawmaker Wong Chen said Muhyiddin’s “malicious” proposal was rightfully rejected by the king, and that the premier should resign or fire ministers who proposed the emergency.

Muhyiddin is holding a cabinet meeting on Monday that is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. (0330 GMT). In a statement on Sunday, the premier said the cabinet would discuss the king’s rejection of his request. (Reuters)


Coronavirus cases reported in Europe more than doubled in 10 days, passing 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, with many Southern European countries reporting their highest one-day cases this week.


Europe recorded 100,000 daily cases for the first time on October 12. Europe has so far reported about 7.8 million total coronavirus cases and around 247,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.


European countries such as Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia recorded their highest one-day coronavirus cases on Thursday.


Europe reports more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined. The increase is partly explained by far more testing than was carried out in the first wave of the pandemic. The global coronavirus count reached around 41.4 million cases and around 1.1 million deaths.


According to Reuters, Wednesday, the highest total infections reported in a single day worldwide, at 422,835. Currently, Europe accounts for nearly 19 percent of global cases and about 22 percent of global deaths, according to a Reuters tally.


In Western Europe, France, which reports the highest seven-day average of new cases in Europe with 25,480 infections per day, reported an all-time high of 41,622 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, according to French health authorities.


To slow the spread of the infection, French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday announced the expansion of a curfew due to the coronavirus to more than two-thirds of its population.


Another Western European country, the Netherlands, reported more than 9,000 in 24 hours, a new record, data released by the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) on Thursday. Germany, which reported more than 10,000 cases daily for the first time on Thursday, extended travel warnings for Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, large parts of Austria and Italy including Rome.


Hospitals across Europe remain depressed. Although that figure is still far below the level at the peak of the crisis six months ago in the region, COVID-19 hospital admissions and occupancy are increasing again.


A World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Monday, Europe and North America must follow the example of Asian countries that are sticking with anti-COVID measures and quarantining anyone who comes in contact with infected people. (Antaranews)


At least 13 South Koreans have died after receiving flu vaccine shots in recent days, according to state and local media reports.


This situation raises concerns about the safety of vaccines, even though the authorities rule out the link between vaccine safety and citizen deaths after vaccines.


Health authorities on Wednesday said they had no plans to suspend the free flu vaccine injection program for about 19 million people after a preliminary investigation of the six fatalities found no direct link to the victims' deaths from the vaccine.


No toxic substances were found in the vaccine, and at least five of the six people investigated had an underlying condition for their deaths, officials said.


Officials have reported nine people died after being vaccinated against the flu, and Yonhap News Agency reported another four died on Thursday.


The fatalities, including a boy aged 17 years and a man in his 70s, came just a week after the free flu vaccination program for teenagers and the elderly had restarted.


The program was suspended for three weeks after it was discovered that about 5 million doses, which need to be refrigerated, had been exposed to room temperature while being transported to medical facilities.


The flu vaccine in South Korea comes from a variety of sources. South Korean flu vaccine manufacturers include local producers GC Pharma, SK Bioscience, and Ilyang Pharmaceutical Co, along with French pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline.


South Korean flu vaccine distributors include LG Chem Ltd and Boryung Biopharma Co. Ltd., which is part of Boryung Pharm Co. Ltd. GC Pharma, LG Chem, SK Bioscience, and Boryung declined to comment about any deaths after receiving flu shots.


Meanwhile, Ilyang Pharmaceutical, Sanofi, and GSK could not be reached for comment.


South Korea has extended its seasonal vaccine program this year to ward off potential complications of the COVID-19 outbreak and reduce the burden on hospitals during winter.


Officials say 8.3 million people have been inoculated with the free flu vaccine since the program resumed on October 13 and there have been reports of about 350 cases of adverse reactions to the vaccine.


The highest number of deaths related to seasonal flu vaccination was six in 2005, according to Yonhap News Agency.


Officials say it is difficult to make comparisons with previous years because more people are taking the vaccine this year. (Antaranews)


New Zealand’s next parliament is set to be the most inclusive ever, with several people of colour, members from the rainbow communities and a high number of women.

The ruling Labour Party was handed a resounding mandate in the election over the weekend, as voters rewarded Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her decisive response to COVID-19.

Although Ardern has the numbers to govern alone, she is in talks with former ally the Green Party to build a wider consensus.

Labour won 64 of the 120 parliamentary seats, and more than half of those are female candidates. It also has 16 indigenous Maori MPs, the first leader of African origin, Ibrahim Omar, and Vanushi Walters of Sri Lankan origin.

“This is the most diverse parliament we have ever had in terms of gender, and minority ethnic and indigenous representation,” said Professor Paul Spoonley from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University.

Its also expected to be the most rainbow representative parliament system in the world, with about 10% of the members in the 120-seat house being openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

This includes prominent leaders like Finance Minister Grant Robertson who is openly gay.

The Greens surprisingly won as many as 10 seats in parliament and a majority of them are women, indigenous leaders or LGBTQ+.

The majority of the new MPs elected into parliament are also much younger and many of them are millennials, Spoonley said.

“What we have seen is a departure of many of the older, male, white MPs including some who have been in parliament for over 30 years,” said Spoonley.

Ardern herself arrived onto the global scene in 2017 when she became the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37.

The 40-year-old leader is feted globally as a progressive leader, who is a champion for woman’s rights, equality and inclusivity. (Reuters)

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