Saudi grand mufti gives special shield to Pakistani cleric

Grand mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, right, gives a special shield to Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, second left, the head of the Pakistan Ulema Council. (Photo courtesy: Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi)
Updated 12 May 2018

Saudi grand mufti gives special shield to Pakistani cleric

  • Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi met the grand mufti in Makkah, thanked him for the shield, and vowed to continue his services for Muslims
  • On April 23, the council hosted religious scholars in the city of Lahore, and declared King Salman the “Islamic World’s Personality of the Year 2017”

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, has given a special shield to a Pakistani cleric for his service to Muslim unity, and to the defense and protection of the Two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom.

Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, head of the Pakistan Ulema Council, met with Al-Asheikh in Makkah, thanked him for the shield, and vowed to continue his services for Muslims. 

On April 23, the council hosted religious scholars in the city of Lahore, and declared King Salman the “Islamic World’s Personality of the Year 2017.” The scholars expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia, the king and crown prince.


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 10 July 2020

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”