Qadaffi almost bought Man United — reports

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi stands outside a tent erected at his Bab Al-Aziziya residence in Tripoli on April 10, 2011 during a meeting with a high-ranking African Union delegation trying to negotiate a truce between Qaddafi’s forces and rebels seeking to oust him. (AFP)
Updated 28 January 2018

Qadaffi almost bought Man United — reports

LONDON: Manchester United was “hours away” from being bought in 2004 by Libyan ex-leader Col. Qadaffi, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
The deal for a 29.9 percent stake in the club — being sold by Irish racing businessmen John Magnier and JP McManus — was within “hours” of being finalized, but the vendors and Qadaffi could not agree a price.
The share in Manchester United came up for sale after Magnier and McManus fell out with team manager Alex Ferguson over ownership of the horse Rock of Gibraltar. Financier Mehmet Dalman was put in charge of selling the share, which would have made any new owner the effective controller of the world-famous football club.
Dalman told The Sunday Times that he flew to Tripoli by “borrowed private jet” to try to complete the sale to Qadaffi. He said: “The deal was “hours” from being signed, but in the end Qadaffi would not pay the asking price, so instead he bought the Perugia football team in Italy.
Qadaffi was killed in 2011 following the overthrow of his regime.

Indian minister steps up calls to deport illegal immigrants

Updated 3 min 41 sec ago

Indian minister steps up calls to deport illegal immigrants

  • National Register of Citizenship will be extended across country, says Amit Shah

NEW DELHI: New Delhi will deport all illegal immigrants found in the country, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah told Parliament on Wednesday.

The warning signaled a heightening of a campaign that some critics say is “aimed at alienating the Muslim minority.”

The minister’s statement comes as the state of Assam is set to release its final list of the National Register of Citizenship (NRC), an exercise to identify illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh. The Supreme Court demanded that the NRC should submit its report at the end of this month.

Of the state’s 31 million residents, almost 4 million were missing from the NRC’s report last year. Most were poor Muslims. Illegal immigration was a core election issue for the ruling right-wing party Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)

“The government will identify illegal immigrants living in every inch of the country’s soil and will deport them in line with international law,” said Shah.

He added that the NRC would be extended across the country. 

Shah, a Hindu hard-liner and the second most powerful figure in the Narendra Modi government, has been belligerently opposed to illegal Muslim immigrants, who he recently described as “termites.”

Critics have questioned the need for the NRC throughout the country.

The BJP does not want to clarify what it truly means because that is part of their politics, but the opposition leaders are also silent.

Hilal Ahmad, Academic

“This is a witch hunt of the minority under the false concern of illegal immigration,” said SubHajjit Naskar of Jadavpur University.

“The way the NRC is being implemented in Assam is damaging for our secular and democratic values.”

Naskar told Arab News: “The register is part of the broader majoritarian agenda to make India a Hindu state where minority Muslims will be treated as second class citizens.” 

Dr. Hilal Ahmad, associate professor at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, said: “The substantial part of Shah’s statement is that NRC is not entirely about Muslims. It also claims that it’s an institutional process with legal support and it’s not at all concerned with Muslims.”

Ahmad added: “The BJP does not want to clarify what it truly means because that is part of their politics, but the opposition leaders are also silent. They are also trying to consolidate the impression that the NRC is anti-Muslim.”

Suhas Chakma, director of the Rights and Risks Analysis Group, said that “Shah’s plans are not practical.”

“How you are going to identify illegal migrants? Have you spoken to Bangladesh about the deportation? What the BJP government is trying to do is not implementable. It is a recipe for chaos,” said Chakma.

Sabber Ahmad, from the Rohingya Human Rights Initiative, a New Delhi-based group serving the persecuted minority community from Myanmar, said the “Indian government’s stance on illegal migrants creates panic among the small Rohingya community living here.”

“I fled Myanmar in 2012 and India gave me a new lease of life. New Dehli should show some humanity in dealing with people like us,” Ahmad told Arab News.

“India has a history of sheltering persecuted minorities from around the world. They must continue this proud tradition,” Ahmad added.