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Iran's former President Bani-Sadr dies at 88 in Paris

Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, who became Iran's first president after the 1979 Islamic revolution before fleeing into exile in France, died on Saturday aged 88.

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Iran's former President Bani-Sadr dies at 88 in Paris
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He died at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris following a long illness, his wife and children said on Bani-Sadr's official website.

Bani-Sadr had emerged from obscurity to become Iran's first president in February 1980 with the help of the Islamic clergy. But after a power struggle with radical clerics he fled the following year to France, where he spent the rest of his life.

In announcing the death, his family said on his website that Bani-Sadr had "defended freedom in the face of new tyranny and oppression in the name of religion".

The family would like him to be buried in Versailles, the Paris suburb where he lived during his exile, his longstanding assistant, Jamaledin Paknejad, told Reuters by telephone.

In an interview with Reuters in 2019, the former president said that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had betrayed the principles of the revolution after sweeping to power in 1979, adding this had left a "very bitter" taste among some of those who had returned with Khomeini to Tehran in triumph.

Bani-Sadr recalled in that interview how 40 years earlier in Paris, he had been convinced that the religious leader's Islamic revolution would pave the way for democracy and human rights after the rule of the Shah.

"We were sure that a religious leader was committing himself and that all these principles would happen for the first time in our history," he said in the interview.

Bani-Sadr took office in February 1980 after winning election the previous month with more than 75% of votes.
But under the new Islamic Republic’s constitution, Khomeini wielded the real power - a situation that has continued since Khomeini's death in 1989 under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

POWER STRUGGLE

Within months of being elected, Bani-Sadr was locked in a power struggle with radical clerical factions whose powers he tried to curb by giving key jobs to liberal-minded laymen.

He used his election victory and popularity -- thanks to his close links with Khomeini -- to discredit his arch rivals in the Islamic Republican Party (IRP), a well-organised group led by hardline clergymen.
In his attempts to form a non-clerical cabinet, Bani-Sadr was also encouraged by a never-fulfilled pledge from Khomeini that the clergy should not assume top posts and instead devote their time to giving guidance and advice to the government.

While enjoying the support of moderate clergymen, he mounted a nationwide campaign against the IRP, travelling around the country and giving speeches in which he accused its leaders of trying to restore the dark days of the past through lies, trickery, prison and torture.

The power struggle reached a crucial point in March 1981, when Bani-Sadr ordered security forces to arrest religious hardliners trying to disrupt a speech he was giving at Tehran University.

This prompted calls for his dismissal and trial, as most of those at the rally were supporters of the opposition People's Mujahedin, denounced by Khomeini as enemies of the revolution.
Khomeini, who had tried to stay out of the wrangling, then stepped into the increasingly bitter infighting, banning political speeches and setting up a commission to settle disputes.

The commission accused Bani-Sadr of violating the constitution and Khomeini's orders by refusing to sign legislation.

IMPEACHMENT

With Khomeini's consent, parliament impeached and dismissed Bani-Sadr in June 1981, forcing him to go underground with the help of the Mujahedin.
One month later, he flew to Paris, where he formed a loosely-knit alliance with the group to overthrow Khomeini.

The alliance collapsed in May 1984 in a clash of ideas between the then Mujahedin leader Massoud Rajavi and Bani-Sadr.

Despite disappointment and his long exile, Bani-Sadr said in the 2019 interview that he did not regret having been part of the revolution.

Bani-Sadr is survived by his wife Azra Hosseini, daughters Firouzeh and Zahra, and son Ali.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Faisal Ali Ghumman is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Faisal Ali Ghumman is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 4 months.

Pakistan

COVID-19: Pakistan reports 1,004 cases, 28 deaths

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,004 cases of coronavirus were reported while 28 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,134.

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COVID-19: Pakistan reports 1,004 cases, 28 deaths

Islamabad: Amid a steady decline in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio further fell to 2.31% with 1,004 new cases.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,004 cases of coronavirus were reported while 28 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,134.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves.

The total number of cases has reached 1,258,959.

As many as 1,188,562 patients have recovered from the disease with 2,473 critical cases.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 436,197 in the province with 12,785 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 462,859 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,497.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 175,974 in the province with 5,645 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,076 confirmed cases while 350 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,350 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 739. On the other hand, there are 10,350 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 106,153 cases in the capital city while 932 people have lost their lives. 

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Pakistan

34 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan; 1,656 new cases emerge 

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves. Today, the daily positivity rate in-country is at 3.26%.

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34 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan; 1,656 new cases emerge 

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves. Today, the daily positivity rate in-country is at 3.26%.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,656 cases of coronavirus were reported while 35 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,785.

The total number of cases has reached 1,249,858.

As many as 1,175,489 patients have recovered from the disease with 3,444 critical cases.

Punjab   

The number of patients swelled to 432,809 in the province with 12,672 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 459,392 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,425.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 174,490 in the province with 5,571 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,956 confirmed cases while 349 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,216 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 738. On the other hand, there are 10,331 cases in GB with 184 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 105,664 cases in the capital city while 927 people have lost their lives.

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Entertainment

‘First in world’; BTS’ Jimin gets customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in US, Australia

On his 26th birthday, the artist became the first person in the world to receive a customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in the United States (US) and Australia.

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‘First in world’; BTS’ Jimin gets customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in US, Australia

Seoul: Renowned K-POP idol and member of boyband BTS, Park Jimin continues to set records as the first person in the world with different highly innovative and grand-scale birthday support projects. 

On his 26th birthday, the artist became the first person in the world to receive a customized helicopter birthday banner for exclusive routes in the United States (US) and Australia.

The exclusive birthday-themed banner will be up to 35 meters long for both the US and Australia routes, which is a giant size to ensure visibility. Both flights will have a specialized light aerobatic aircraft utilized for the birthday project.

In US, the banner will pass through famous sites including the Statue of Liberty and the George Washington Bridge—a strategy that will foster drawing attention to the project. 

The US flight will be for 3 hours, which is also a long period to ensure enough buzz for the project—ensuring a grand-scale promotion for Jimin in the most sophisticated way imaginable.

For the Australian route, the flight will be on Gold Coast, and the duration will be two hours.

The Australian route will include a highlighted tourist resort named after the 42 km of golden sandy beach—adding prestige to the project.

In addition to incredible birthday support projects, fans known as ARMY are also showing their love to the singer through various hashtags on Twitter.

To commemorate BTS Jimin's birthday today, Ukraine ARMYs have also prepared a "first-in-the-world" project that involves the ‘Serendipity’ singer being featured on the biggest LED screen in all of Europe.

Another birthday support project for BTS member Jimin that is also the first in the world is a digital ad in Kyoto, Japan. Jimin became the first foreign artist to be featured on that ad space in the country.

The advertisement will run for a week.

Moreover, ARMYs in France are celebrating BTS Jimin's birthday by lighting up the Eiffel Tower, which is a famous landmark in the city.

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