Border attack from Pakistan kills 2 Iranians: Guards

Iranian border guards have come under attack by jihadists in restive areas along the frontiers with Pakistan and Afghanistan. (AFP)
Updated 16 July 2017

Border attack from Pakistan kills 2 Iranians: Guards

TEHRAN: Two Iranian civilians were killed in a cross-border attack by Pakistani insurgents, the Revolutionary Guards said.
“On Saturday evening, a terrorist team... fired (ammunition) from within Pakistani territory toward the Iranian border region of Saravan” in Sistan-Baluchistan province, the Guards said in a statement on their Sepahnews website.
“Two local workers in the region were martyred in this terrorist attack,” it added.
Forces from the Quds force — the Guards’ foreign operations wing — killed one of the attackers and wounded two, while others fled back into Pakistani territory, the statement said.
The insurgent group was not identified, but for years the region has been the site of frequent attacks by the Jaish Al-Adl jihadist group, which Tehran says has links to Al-Qaeda and is based in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan.
Jaish Al-Adl was blamed for an attack in April that killed 10 Iranian border guards in the nearby Mirjaveh region.
President Hassan Rouhani wrote to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calling for greater efforts to prevent insurgent attacks along the border.
The Guards also said on June 19 that they had killed the leader and four members of another jihadist group called Ansar Al-Furqan in the Iranian port city of Chabahar in Sistan-Baluchistan province.


Indian president disregards protests, signs citizenship bill into law

Updated 13 December 2019

Indian president disregards protests, signs citizenship bill into law

  • The new law lays out a path of Indian citizenship for six minority religious groups from the neighboring countries
  • The law seeks to grant Indian nationality to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled the three Muslim-majority neighboring countries

NEW DELHI: A divisive citizenship bill has been signed into law in India, a move that comes amid widespread protests in the country’s northeast that could force the cancelation of a visit by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Two people were killed and 11 injured on Thursday when police opened fire on mobs in Assam state torching buildings and attacking railway stations. Protesters say the law would convert thousands of illegal immigrants into legal residents.
The new law lays out a path of Indian citizenship for six minority religious groups from the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill late on Thursday, signing it into law, an official statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has planned to host Abe at a meeting in Assam next week as part of a campaign to move high-profile diplomatic events outside Delhi to showcase India’s diversity.
Japan’s Jiji Press reported on Friday that Abe is considering canceling his trip. India’s foreign ministry said it was not in a position to comment on the visit which was originally planned for Dec 15-17.
A movement against immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh has raged in Assam for decades. Protesters say granting Indian nationality to more people will further strain the resources of the tea growing state and lead to the marginalization of indigenous communities.
Japan has stepped up infrastructure development work in Assam in recent years which the two sides were expected to highlight during the summit. Abe had also planned to visit a memorial in the nearby state of Manipur where Japanese soldiers were killed during World War Two.
Critics of Modi’s Hindu nationalist government say the bigger problem with the new law is that it is the first time India is using religion as a criterion for granting citizenship and that it excludes Muslims from its ambit.
The law seeks to grant Indian nationality to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled the three Muslim-majority neighboring countries before 2015.
The Indian Union Muslim League party has petitioned the Supreme Court saying the law was in conflict with the secular principles of India’s constitution that guaranteed equality to all without any regard to religion. No date has yet been set for the hearings.
The party said the law is “prima facie communal” and questioned the exclusion of minorities such as Rohingya Muslims who were just as persecuted as other faiths listed in the law.