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January 17, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8502

Mishustin Was Not A Shoo-In For Russia's Prime Ministership

January 17, 2020
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 8502
In the West and Russia as well, the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his replacement by Mikhail Mishustin is considered a personal decision of Vladimir Putin, who saw the need for providing a facelift to an unpopular government that was dragging down ratings and preparing for 2024 when he must leave the presidency. The Nezigar telegram channel that is closely linked with the Russian Presidential Administration provides a picture of rivalries between various power centers and how the change is likely to have a ripple effect throughout the entire Russian government. What emerges is that no groups are allowed to grow too strong and groups that have lost out in one decision have to receive compensation in the future. Below are five posts from Nezigar speculating on possible repercussions from the Mishustin appointment: Mikhail Mishustin (Source: Tass.ru) "Transfer and Mishustin (1) "On the 14th of January, there were three candidates on the short list. Two of them were [Moscow's mayor Sergey] Sobyanin and Mishustin. The president was pondering. The bet was made on Mishustin. "First of all, as a technical candidate, he will not be burdened by populism. Moreover, he needs to fight poverty without adverse effects for the elites. Secondly, Mishustin is familiar with and embedded in the financial system. Thirdly, the prime minister is not dependent from the security forces, and with some he is even in the phase of conflict. "[Putin's reputed personal banker Yury] Kovalchuk, [First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration Alexey] Kiriyenko and [Accounts Chamber head and former finance minister Alexey] Kudrin lobbied on behalf of Mishutin. Mishustin was in contact with all regions, he knows all the governors. He is familiar with big business. "Part of the PA [Presidential Administration of Russia] and the “Family” [people close to the Yeltsin clan] lobbied for Sobyanin. Medvedev leaned toward Sobyanin’s candidature. The security block opposed Mishustin. "Until midday no one knew – [who was going to win] Sobyanin or Mishustin. "This is a critical loss for Sobyanin. In fact, the battle for Moscow now begins. In the coming years, the capital will have a new mayor. "On Medvedev. "Around Christmas, Medvedev already knew about [his forthcoming] resignation. The next day, the Medvedev family flew away to rest in the Alps. Medvedev wanted to go to Gazprom. Putin was against it. The decision to resign was made by Putin. "Medvedev [a former constitutional law professor] will lead neither the court nor Gazprom.[1] "Transfer and Mishustin (2) "The appointment of Mishustin as head of government is the beginning of a new balance. "In fact, this position is now given to the Kovalchuks and their clientele: Kudrin and Kiriyenko. Mishustin, although a technical figure, but he will have expanded powers, which greatly exceed the powers of [former prime ministers] [Mikhal] Fradkov and [Viktor] Zubkov. "The government is regaining the lost ground and will become an operator of economic processes. "A revision of approaches to the implementation of national projects is expected. A series of costly initiatives, including the [data maintenance] “Yarovaya package”, will undergo a change. "A restructuring of financial relations between the center and the regions [is also expected]. The positions of the regions will be equalized. "Mishustin will receive a mandate to limit the intervention of security forces in economic processes. "Some ministry offices will undergo a 'cleaup'. [Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is losing [political] ground. "The influence of [Putin's economic adviser Andrei] Belousov is growing. [Minister of Economic Development Maxim] Oreshkin’s influence is going to be strengthened. "It is expected that the women's cabinet [role] will be strengthened. [Elena] Shmeleva[2] is being considered for a position in the government. "The 'Mishustin-[Katerina] Tikhonova'[3]” link will be strengthened.[4] "Transfer and Mishustin (3) "Medvedev-[Security Council Secretary Nikolai] Patrushev-[Rosneft CEO] Igor Sechin: the triumvirate will control security forces. It is possible that they may have to prepare a reform of the security block. Medvedev will become a public actor, repeating the experience of the Luzhkov's resignation. "As a security official, Medvedev could lead the UR [United Russia] to the elections. But his big negative rating [in the opinion polls] is more likely will lead to his departure from UR. It is possible that the UR and All-Russia People's Front will hold a unification congress. […] "The configuration will change due to the strengthening of governors in conjunction with the strengthening of municipalities. "A party of security forces will have to consolidate itself to maintain positions. "Chemezov’s position will be eroded. So far, he has maintained positions through [ Deputy Chief of Government Staff Anton] Vaino, [presidential aide Anatoly] Seryshev and [Minister of Industry and Trade Denis] Manturov. [5] "Transfer and Mishustin (4) "A change of head of the Constitutional Court is expected. This position is important in the new construction of power. In fact, it is a legal guarantor of balance and stability. "[Federation Council chair Valentina] Matviyenko is expected to leave the Federation Council. One of the challengers is [Foreign Intelligence Service Directory Sergey] Naryshkin. The new Federation Council should also provide advice on the appointment of security officials and [should] balance the governors. "Personnel changes are expected in the Prosecutor General’s office. Yury Chaika is about to leave [the office]. One of the candidates is the Moscow prosecutor [Denis] Popov (he is being lobbied by Patrushev). Again, rumors arose that [Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry] Kozak could be the Prosecutor General. "Under Mishustin, a change of finance minister is possible. Mishustin himself thinks highly of [Deputy Minister of Finance Tatyana] Nesterenko. [Because] through her connection with the Family exists. At the same time, it is expected that the Siluanov-Oreshkin-[Deputy Minister of Economic Development Mikhail] Babich axis will be preserved to balance Mishustin's power. "There will be a war for the Ministry of Finance. Siluanov will not give up his position so easy. "Kozak was considered [to be appointed] for Ukrainian direction of policy. But he is one of the few successful government managers. His departure is a weakening [of the government]. Especially because he has a contact with Western partners. So far, [he] remains responsible for operational decisions. "It is necessary to monitor Manturov, [economist and Deputy Prime Minister Olga] Golodets and [Minister of Health Veronika] Skvortsova – if any of them leaves, it will lower [Rosted CEO Sergey Chemezov's resources. All three ministers are under threat of resignations. "The departure of [Minister of Digital Development Konstanin] Noskov and [Education Minister Olga] Vasilyeva is expected. There will be a fight for [Minister of Culture Vladimir] Medinsky. [The head of the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources Svetlana Radionova’s influence may intensify.[6] "Transfer and Mishustin (5) "Sobyanin had lost a historical chance. "The prime minister’s office was being prepared for him. But Sobyanin could have changed the whole design of the transfer. "The most he can count on now is the transition to the State Council as a deputy to Putin or [a transfer] to the government, but under Putin. "Сonnection with the Family and the Siloviki hobbled Sobyanin greatly. "A bundle [combining] the latter and [the oligarchs Boris and Arkady] Rotenberg would have strengthened one of the groups in the party of siloviki. The balance would be upset. "The family let its guard down too early. The appointment of [Alexander] Voloshin at the head of the Expert Council of the Government outraged everyone - this catalyzed the conflict. "It is important to consider what positions in the transfer the Rotenbergs will receive. This is a strong group and so far it has been pushed back. "It is possible that their candidate will be on the short list for the future prime minister, or for the head of the party or for the president’s office. "It cannot be ruled out that Kiriyenko may lose the position of curator of domestic politics and move to another position (given his desire to become mayor of the capital). "Kiriyenko is a strong manager, but his minus is his connection with the Kovalchuks. He did not become an independent actor. It annoys many. "The Kovalchuk group will not be able to hold positions for all three key positions for a long time (government, Federation Council and domestic policy). "[The State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav] Volodin regains his position and again enters the president's closest circle. Now he is a transfer constructor. "In addition, ahead of us are the complex procedures for constitutional changes. So far it they are just initiatives and it is required to bring them under the due constitutional process. "Time is running out. After all, autumn may become the second part of political activity. On the wave of Victory [celebrations] and the expectation of changes.[7]           [1] T.me/russica2/22729, January 16, 2020. [2] Shmeleva was one of three co-chairpersons of Putin's 2018 reelection campaign and heads a center for gifted children. [3] Tikhonova is Putin's younger daughter, and a director of a scientific institute. [4] T.me/russica2/22730, January 16, 2020. [5] T.me/russica2/22731, January 16, 2020. [6] T.me/russica2/22732, January 16, 2020. [7] T.me/russica2/22733

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Jan 15, 2020
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In Parliamentary Session, Jordanian MP Ghazi Al-Hawamleh Opposes Jordan’s Gas Deal with Israel, Exclaims in Several Languages: No to Israeli Gas! No to the Gas of the Jews!

#7741 | 01:56
Source: Jordanian TV

Jordanian MP Ghazi Al-Hawamleh said in a parliamentary address that aired on Jordan TV on January 15, 2020 that the Jordanian people oppose the "shameful and unjust" gas deal that Jordan has with Israel. He complained that the Jordanian leadership is not listening to the public's opinion on the matter and exclaimed: "No to the Israeli gas! No to the gas of the Jews!" He also exclaimed "No!" in English and said "No to the Israeli occupation’s gas in Jordan" in Hebrew.

 

Ghazi Al-Hawamleh: "The main issue today, about which we have been talking in parliament for the past three years, is the shameful and unjust gas deal [with Israel] – whether the gas is stolen or not. A lot has been said but we cannot find a solution for it. The leadership, the government, and the people do not want it. We say it in literary Arabic, we say it in colloquial Arabic, and we say it in every dialect, but the message does not get through. How can we get the message through? No to the Israeli gas! No to the gas of the Jews! Oh Jordanians, you are 7 million people! Since the Parliament stands beside you and has announced its position on this issue, the government must annul this deal, regardless of the Supreme Court's decisions. We say to you: 'No!' And in English also: 'No!' Oh people, oh government, oh Prime Minister, oh Your Majesty... Do you want me to say it in Hebrew? [In Hebrew: No gas! No gas! No Israeli gas in Jordan! No gas! No gas!] What is this word here? Leave it... [In Hebrew: No to the Israeli occupation's gas in Jordan! No to the Israeli occupation's gas in Jordan!]"

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Jan 10, 2020
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Abdul Hakim Awad, Member of Fatah Revolutionary Council: “Quds Force Commander” Is an Empty Title; Qasem Soleimani, Iran Have Done Nothing for Jerusalem

#7740 | 01:51
Source: Alkofiya TV (Palestine)

Abdul Hakim Awad, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, said in a January 9, 2020 interview on Alkofiya TV (UAE/Palestine) that because of Hamas' relationship with Iran, any time that Hamas speaks on behalf of the Palestinian people, it is doing them an injustice. He said that the Palestinian people did not think that Iran or Qasem Soleimani contributed anything to Jerusalem. Awad said that the Iranian leadership has cared more about Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon than it has about Jerusalem and that it did not respond at all when the U.S. moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an event which Awad said he believes was more significant than the killing of Qasem Soleimani. He said that for this reason, "Qods [Jerusalem] Force Commander" is an empty title.

 

Abdul Hakim Awad: "The relationship between Hamas and Iran is known. I believe that when Hamas speaks on behalf of the Palestinian people, it is doing them an injustice, because the Palestinian people did not think that Iran, or even Qasem Soleimani, have given anything to Jerusalem, in consideration of the fact that Qasem Soleimani was the commander of the IRGC's Qods [Jerusalem] Force. Sanaa and Aden in Yemen, Damascus in Syria, and Beirut in Lebanon were much closer to the hearts of Qasem Soleimani, the political regime in Iran, and the spiritual leader [Khamenei] than Jerusalem was. Jerusalem was a far-off place [for them]. We did not see Iran do anything on the day that the U.S. moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In my personal opinion, this event was much more pivotal and significant than the killing of Qasem Soleimani by the United States. When the embassy was moved to Jerusalem, the holy city of the Arabs and Muslims, and when the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel's unified capital, we did not see a response from Iran, and Iran did not dare shoot even a single bullet. It did not make a stand that would make history look upon it favorably. This is why the title 'Qods Force Commander' is an empty title."

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Dec 28, 2019
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Former Kuwaiti Minister Ali Al-Baghli: Kuwaitis Who Convert to Judaism, Other Religions Should Not Lose Their Citizenship; Our Laws Do Not Forbid Conversion

#7739 | 01:23
Source: ATV (Kuwait)

In a December 28, 2019 interview on ATV (Kuwait), former Kuwaiti Minister Ali Al-Baghli, who has also been a member of Kuwait's parliament, was asked regarding whether a certain Kuwaiti man who converted to Judaism should be stripped of his Kuwaiti citizenship or not. Al-Baghli answered that there should be no punishment for this person because Kuwait is a country governed by laws that do not infringe upon people's personal liberty to convert to different religions. He pointed out that if it had been a Jew that converted to Islam, everybody would have applauded this man, and that Judaism has been around for longer than Islam. Al-Baghli added: "If he is wrong, Allah will punish him. Why should we, as humans, interfere?"

 

Interviewer: "Today, we heard of a Kuwaiti citizen who converted to Judaism, and people say that he should be stripped of his [Kuwaiti] citizenship. This conversion, alongside his statements, are not important... Do you think that revoking his citizenship is justified in this case?"

 

Ali Al-Baghli: "No. We are a country governed by laws. It is not a crime and there should be no punishment unless it is written in the constitution. Article 50 of the constitution specifies that... Does our country's citizenship law – which has been turned into a game – state that a person should be stripped of his citizenship if he changes his religion? No, it does not. If it was a Jew who converted to Islam, we would be applauding him. Enough with that. It is a matter of personal liberty. If he is wrong, Allah will punish him. Why should we, as humans, interfere? After all, this religion existed even before our religion. It existed in the days of the Prophet Muhammad and the Rightly Guided Caliphs."

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Jan 06, 2020
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Egyptian Cleric Muhammad Al-Zoghbi: Khamenei Was Crying at Soleimani’s Funeral because Iran’s Arms Have Been Cut off; This Is the End of the Iranian Regime

#7738 | 01:21
Source: Al-Rahma TV (Egypt)

Egyptian cleric Muhammad Al-Zoghbi said in a January 6, 2020 interview on Al-Rahma TV (Egypt) that "the Jews and the Zoroastrian Iranians are two sides of the same coin." In addition, Al-Zoghbi said that the United States' January 3 killing of IRGC Qods Force commander General Qasem Soleimani spells the end of the Iranian regime. He said that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was crying at Soleimani's funeral because Iran's arms have been cut off.

 

Muhammad Al-Zoghbi: "I have always said that the Jews and the Zoroastrian Iranians are two sides of the same coin. Also, when you talk about the Jews, you are talking about America, and vice versa. '[The Jews and Christians] will never be pleased [with you].' This is why Allah tied these two evil twins together in the Quran. [The Quran says]: 'They will never be pleased with you,' that way or the other. You could say that this is beyond dispute.

 

"Regarding [Soleimani's death] – is this the end [of Iran]? I am certain that this is the end of Iran's proxies, collaborators, and agents."

 

Interviewer: "Are you sure that this is the end?"

 

Muhammad Al-Zoghbi: "Yes, of course. For several months I have been certain that the Iranian regime is done for. Anybody who does not see this is completely blind. The Iranian regime has reached ultimate senility, and this is why we saw Khamenei crying for the first time yesterday. This is not just about the killing of Soleimani. Not at all. [Khamenei] saw [Iran's] arms being cut off entirely. This is why Khamenei cried only yesterday. Not over Qasem Soleimani, but over... Qasem Soleimani was nothing but a mercenary. He is crying over his arms having been cut off, and over seeing them fall off while he is still alive."

 

ISIS Editorial Accuses U.S. Of Empowering Shi'ites In Iraq, Downplays Shi'ite Militias' Demands To Expel U.S. Troops

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January 16, 2020

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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January 16, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8501

Google Play Features App Used By White Supremacists, Antisemites To Avoid Purchasing Kosher Food; App Already Banned By Apple App Store, YouTube

January 16, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8501
An app available on Google Play is being praised by white supremacists seeking to avoid foods that are certified kosher. The app bills itself as "a tool to make you a better-informed consumer at the grocery store" and features "a database of products that DO NOT display an obvious kosher certification seal" so that "those consumers not requiring to follow strict religious dietary laws" may "exercise their dietary free will in choosing non-certified products." It also notes that it can be useful for "kosher-keeping shoppers." The app has been promoted by neo-Nazis such as former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke and his associate Dr. Patrick Slattery. In 2018, the app was removed from the Apple App store but it can still be purchased on Google Play. One neo-Nazi KKK member on the Russian social media platform VK promoted the app in a December 7, 2019 post, and posted a screenshot of his review in the Google Play store. Other reviews show that the app is used by antisemites. It is worth noting that the app has no Facebook or Instagram presence, though a few individual users have recommended it on those platforms. The app has also been promoted by numerous white supremacist radio shows, and sponsored a neo-Nazi podcast. The following report will examine the app and its reviews. NOTE: YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO THE MEMRI WHITE SUPREMACIST THREAT MONITOR (WSTM) TO READ THE FULL REPORT. GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA CAN REQUEST A COPY BY WRITING TO MEDIA@MEMRI.ORG WITH THE REPORT TITLE IN THE SUBJECT LINE. The App On Google Play Some of the language in the app's description on Google Play has antisemitic undertones. Its statement that "[k]osher-certified food products have become a pervasive phenomenon in our kitchen cupboards and refrigerator shelves" alludes to the longstanding antisemitic trope of Jewish political and economic domination. The app has a Gab account where commenters have referred to the availability of kosher items as "Kosher supremacy."    On VK, a neo-Nazi and KKK affiliate shared a screenshot of his review of the app on Google Play. He wrote: "Just installed this on my phone for 2.99. Supporting our White Brothers." VK, whose policing is much more lax than that of mainstream platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, is commonly used by white supremacists. Another review reads: "This app is great for avoiding food made by demons!" A third reviewer wrote: "An excellent resource for those wishing to shop according to their own beliefs and values."  A Google user wrote: "I never knew this industry existenced and was such a big business. It's shocking to think the amount of extra money I've paid to appease such a small percentage of the world's population. (Jews are around 2% of the world's population). This app will help you find foods so you can avoid paying the (((Kosher Tax)))[1]. Buy this app and become one of the goyim [non-Jews] that know."   The App On Twitter The app's Twitter account is currently active. The account responded to the deletion of its YouTube account by tweeting at YouTube: "Just over one year ago your review team shut down the [app's] Channel w/o any strikes, charging us as being 'commercially deceptive.' This year we scientifically proved that the kosher-certification industry is deceptive." The account tweeted: "The [app] began from an idea never before considered and now it fosters a burgeoning NKC (non-kosher certified) community. It can help recharge that latent identity that has been corrupted by modernity. There is much talent and many new ideas in our ranks! Support them & share the light!" The tweet included re-tweet of an article about the app in a white supremacist magazine.   The magazine tweeted back: "[The app] produced a 41-page quantitative study of the Kosher certification industry and kosher seals. How many on our side are doing this type of professional research? Not many, so be sure to support their work by getting their mobile app." The app's Twitter account does not only discuss the app. For instance, it tweeted its disdain for a high school requirement that students read Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel's memoir Night: "look into our education system: Students used to learn of Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and read Mark Twain. A HS sophomore today will have gotten none of this. Instead, 'Night' by Elie Wiesel is ASSIGNED READING for what used to be #Christmas, now holiday break."     [1] According to the idea of a "Kosher tax" that is promoted by antisemites, food companies and unwitting consumers are forced to pay money to support the Jewish religion or Zionist causes and Israel through the costs of kosher certification.

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On Facebook, Australian ISIS Widow Marks One Year In Al-Hol Camp In Syria

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January 16, 2020

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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ISIS Claims Killing And Wounding 14 Iraqi Soldiers In Two Attacks In South Anbar

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January 16, 2020

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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January 16, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8500

Shi'ite And Sunni Islamic Scholars Of Pakistan: 'America Itself Is Begging The Taliban For Peace And Escape, While On The Other Hand, It Is Issuing Threats Against Iran'

January 16, 2020
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 8500
According to an Urdu-language daily, Shi'ite and Sunni Islamic scholars of Pakistan, while calling to prevent war, have criticized American threats against Iran in the wake of the assassination of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad. "On the one hand, America itself is begging the Taliban for peace and escape [for its soldiers from Afghanistan], while on the other hand, it is issuing threats against Iran when Iran is a nuclear power. The sectarian divide among Muslims is the enemy's conspiracy," a report by Roznama Ummat quoted Shi'ite and Sunni Islamic scholars as saying. In the report, Islamic scholar Mufti Kifayatullah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam said: "America has made a mistake by targeting Iran's commander [Qassem Soleimani]. America spreads terrorism in the whole world. The Pakistani government should use its diplomatic relations and try for expediency." Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri, the General Secretary of the Shi'ite group Majlis Wahdat Muslimeen Pakistan, criticized Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's statement that Pakistan will not be a party to the U.S.-Iran conflict in the Middle East, declaring it as the Pakistani government's "cowardice, and counter to national honor." Muhammad Hussain Mehnati, the emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan for Sindh province and former lawmaker, said: "Imperial powers want to achieve their despicable objectives by dividing the ummah [Islamic nation] by regionalism [territory-based divisions] and sectarianism [like the Sunni-Shi'ite schism]. We will have to destroy all the conspiracies of enemies..." According to the report, Liaqat Baloch, the deputy emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, said that 35 religious organizations united under the banner of Milli Yekjahti Council will hold a meeting in Lahore where they will decide on a strategy to deal with "new threats to Islam." Source: Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), January 8, 2020.

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