The Indian Express – India only talking about terrorism: Pakistan’s UN envoy

Lodhi said that Pakistan seeks to normalise relations with India by finding political solutions to outstanding disputes

Pakistan seeks to normalise relations with India, but New Delhi has “signalled” it is only interested in talking about terrorism which does not bode well for the prospects of diplomatic progress between the two nations, Islamabad’s envoy to the UN has said.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN ambassador Maleeha Lodhi’s remarks came just a day before Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry met in New Delhi on April 26 on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia’ regional conference.

“While Islamabad has repeatedly urged Delhi to resume the broad based, comprehensive peace process, India has yet to agree and has instead signalled it is only interested in talking about terrorism. This, she said, does not make the prospects of diplomatic progress too bright,” she said.

Lodhi addressed students and faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge on April 25 as part of ‘South Asia Week’ being held at the institution and talked about Pakistan’s role in regional stability.

According to a press release issued by Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN here, Lodhi said that Pakistan seeks to normalise relations with India by finding political solutions to outstanding disputes.

In their first formal bilateral meeting after the terror attack on the Pathankot air base in January, the Foreign Secretaries focused on a range of issues including probe into the attack and Kashmir, which the Pakistani side has asserted was the “core issue”.

Lodhi said that Pakistan’s priorities included economic revival, defeating terrorism and elimination of violent extremism in and around Pakistan.

Another priority for Pakistan is building regional peace and stability, which required an end to the conflict in Afghanistan, and normalisation of Pakistan-India relations on an equitable and durable basis, she said.

On China, Lodhi said the country is a “cornerstone” of Pakistan’s foreign policy and Islamabad’s relationship with Beijing is “strategic, historic, trouble free and pivotal to the country’s foreign policy.”

Lodhi said that the strategic evolution of the Pakistan-China relationship has accorded the bilateral partnership added significance at a time of a ” fundamental change in the global balance of power brought about by China’s rise as a global economic powerhouse.”

In recent years, she said bilateral ties with China have broadened and diversified from the traditional focus on defence and military cooperation toward a greater economic and investment orientation.

On how Pakistan will balance its relations with China as well as with the US, she said “to those who ascribe a zero-sum nature to Pakistan’s relations with China and America, a recall of history would help to invalidate this flawed notion,” according to the release.

Citing Pakistan’s “good relations” with the US and China from the time of the Cold War, she said “Pakistan intends to play the same role in the future and maintain good relations with both even as the two engage in global competition”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-only-talking-about-terrorism-pakistans-un-envoy-2775832/

Sikh24.com – Terrorist Attack Feared After 300 Years Old Sikh Gurdwara Reopened in Pakistan After 73 Years

Sikh24 Editors

Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, 28 April 2016. A Gurdwara in Jogiwada area of Peshawar (Pakistan) was reopened after 73 years on April 27. Gurdwara Sahib is believed to be over 300 years old. It was closed down in 1940 as most of the Sikh families living in the area had to relocate. Local Sikhs of Jogiwada had been struggling legally for reopening the Gurdwara since 2012.

Peshawar area where the Gurdwara is situated is Taliban dominated. Taliban has strict policies towards the minorities, and is staunchly against religious places of non-Muslims.

Sardar Gurpal Singh, a prominent Sikh living in the area told Sikh24 that the security of the visiting devotees is necessary as the Gurdwara will be on target of Taliban and other terrorist organizations in the area. He informed that currently a police cop has been deployed outside Gurdwara Sahib.

A book-seller adjacent to the Gurdwara premises said that the locals have been in fear of a terrorist attack ever since the Gurdwara reopened. He said that a girls’ school falls in the neighbourhood of the Gurdwara Sahib, so if any mishappening occurs, it could lead to huge damage of lives.

According to CIA reports, minorities form 3.6 % of total population of Pakistan. Sikhs are often targeted by the terrorist organizations such as Taliban for obtaining ransoms.

Since the Gurdwara was uninhabited for over six decades, its walls and inner dome have been damaged following several earthquakes. But the main building built in 1708 has survived.

Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek and Sint-Joost-ten-Noode/Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

Schaarbeek & Sint-Joost
18 January 2016

035.o.Wijnheuvelen.18.01.16

Rogierlaan/Avenue Rogier – Wijnheuvelen/Coteaux
MIVB Tram 25 and 62 & Bus 65 and 66

035.p.Coteaux.18.01.16

Rogierlaan/Avenue Rogier Wijnheuvelen/Coteaux
De Lijn bus 358 to Brussel/Bruxelles Noord/Nord

035.q.Wijnheuvelen.18.01.16

Rogierlaan/Avenue Rogier Wijnheuvelen/Coteaux
De Lijn bus 358 to Brussel/Bruxelles Noord/Nord

035.r.Haachtsesteenweg.18.01.16

Chaussee de Haecht/Haachtssesteenweg
Robiano MIVB bus 65 and 66 and tram 92

035.s.Haachtsesteenweg.18.01.16

Chaussee de Haecht/Haachtssesteenweg
Turkse Unie van Belgie

035.t.Haachtsesteenweg.18.01.16

Chaussee de Haecht/Haachtssesteenweg
Robiano MIVB tram 92

To see all my pictures :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Human Rights Without Frontiers International – Bangladesh jails two Hindu teachers for insulting Islam

Miami Herald, 27 April 2016. A court has jailed two teachers in southern Bangladesh for making derogatory comments about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, invoking a rare law from the British colonial era that makes insulting any religion a crime.

The case began when students at Hijla High School in Bagerhat district complained that the assistant teacher of a science class Sunday dismissed the Quran as the word of Allah and said there was no heaven, Magistrate Anwar Parvez told the Associated Press late Tuesday.

The students, aged 17 to 18, along with others from a nearby, Islamic school became incensed when the high school’s head teacher backed up his colleague. A mob including students, parents and villagers attacked the teachers with sticks, forcing them to lock themselves in a room until police intervened, Parvez said.

“The situation went out of control,” Parvez said, adding the mob “wanted to take law in their hands.”

The magistrate of the quick-ruling court said the assistant teacher pleaded guilty to publicly insulting religion, and the two were sentenced to six months behind bars.

The law against insulting religion, imposed when Britain ruled the Indian Subcontinent, is rarely used and aimed at preventing communal clashes and inciting violence.

The Muslim-majority country – politically fractured between secularists and those wanting Islamic rule – has been roiled by an ongoing wave of deadly attacks on atheist writers, religious minorities and activists over the last two years.

On Monday night, a gang of young men stabbed two men to death in Dhaka, including the editor of a gay rights magazine who also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

It was the fifth such killing this year, after nine were cut down in 2015. International governments including the United States and aid groups have implored the Bangladeshi government to do more to safeguard free speech and protect members of civil society.

Recommended Reading: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University

– Women and Religion in Bangladesh: Obstacles and Opportunities for Empowerment:

http://bit.ly/26x1fca

– Faith and Development in Focus: Bangladesh:

http://bit.ly/26x1hAV

– Making Pluralism Possible – The Promise and Challenge of Religious Peacebuilding in Bangladesh:

http://bit.ly/1XWYTgP

– Other papers on Bangladesh published by the Berkley Center:

http://bit.ly/1PvijWg

http://hrld.us/1VE1tuF

View this newsletter:

http://hrwf.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Bangladesh2016.pdf

Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination (PNSD) – Westminster Conference Secures Cross Party Support for Self Determination

Sikhs, Kashmiris and other nations present case for Conflict Resolution under International Law

London 26 April 2016: At a packed venue in the Houses of Parliament ‘Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination’ (PNSD) hosted a Conference focusing on the right of self-determination and how that can be used to bring peace and justice to conflict zones ravaged by decades of violent turmoil.

Lord Ahmed, PNSD’s Chair, hosted the event and expressed his gratitude to members of Parliament from across the political spectrum that offered their support to nations who want to peaceably restore democracy and human rights in their respective homelands.

Lord Ahmed implored the international community to do more to protect this core human right and committed to raise this with the UK Government.

Fabian Hamilton, a Labour Party MP and shadow foreign affairs minister, sent a clear message that the “Labour Party strongly supports the rights of oppressed peoples throughout the world to self-determination as one of the few ways in which conflict and violence may be avoided and communities are able to live together in peace”.

He noted that human rights are all too often disregarded by those who choose to overlook the rights of the minority for their own selfish ends.

Peter Grant MP, representing the Scottish National Party spoke of his party’s ideological affinity with all those who sought, through exclusively peaceful means, to secure self-determination for their peoples.

He was proud that, despite the outcome, the nations and government of the UK, had respected the right of the Scottish nation to decide its own future in the recent referendum.

Alongside this support for such causes he said it was fundamentally important for such movements to ensure due respect and equal treatment who were themselves ‘minorities’ with that self-determining territory.

Andrew Griffiths MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir, said that the Kashmir conflict could only be solved by implementation of the right to self-determination, as was recognised by the UN Security Council itself.

He urged the UK Government to do more to facilitate that outcome wherever such conflicts had arisen, especially where the British decolonisation process had itself created the conditions for such conflict.

Tom Brake MP, Liberal democrat MP and foreign affairs spokesman, assured the Conference of his party’s backing for self-determination struggles that based their case on international law and democratic values. He pledged to work with PNSD in order to promote this crucial human right.

The Conference was addressed by senior lawyer Amar Singh Chahal who is also spokesman for Jagtar Singh Hawara, recently appointed by the Sarbat Khalsa (national gathering of the Sikhs); he set out the case for the Sikhs as a nation to be allowed to exercise self-determination in its homeland.

It was noted that the event took place exactly 30 years after the Sikhs had declared the formation of an independent sovereign Sikh state of Khalistan and that the violent suppression of that act of self-determination had failed to bring any form of peace or justice to the Punjab.

Dr Iqtidar Cheema, a leading academic and commentator on South Asian affairs, spoke about the genesis of the right of self-determination in international law, from the UN Charter itself to Article 1 of the 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

He urged the international community to accept that the Sikh nation has an impeccable case for self-determination in the form of a sovereign state and that such a state would bring regional peace and stability by creating a buffer between the permanently tense nuclear rivals being India and Pakistan.

India’s official rejection of the right of self-determination, as enshrined in Article 1 of the 1966 Covenant, was an untenable and outlandish position which the international community should see as a direct cause of the conflicts in Punjab, Kashmir and Nagalim.

Professor Nazir Shawl delivered to the Conference a message from Syed Ali Gilani, Chairman of the All Party Hurriet Conference, which outlined the human rights abuses and ongoing oppression of the Kashmiris by a huge Indian military presence.

He expressed solidarity with all other struggling nations and appealed to the international community for support. Professor Shawl said the Kashmiris were willing to negotiate on all other things but asserted that the right of self-determination was non-negotiable.

Frans Wellman of the International Naga Support Centre, who travelled from Holland to speak at the event, expressed his surprise at the recent announcement of a peace deal between certain Naga leaders and the Indian government – the details of which have not been disclosed to the affected Nagas.

Detailing the chicanery of the Indian negotiators over recent years, he was pessimistic that the core demand of Naga sovereignty would feature and hence feared a possible tragic return to civil war. He described how India had used massive funds to infiltrate and splinter Naga organisations and destroy traditional Naga egalitarian society.

Graham Williamson of ‘Nations Without States’ spoke of the need to engage with civil society within the ‘majority’ communities whose leaders were suppressing self-determination movements. It was, he said, damaging for all sides when violent conflicts arise and progress can and should be made by bringing this realisation to all sides.

The ‘other side’ needs to understand the morality, the economic cost, the international opprobrium attached to human rights abuses and the benefits of ending perpetual conflict.

Professor Zafar Khan urged the international community to recognise the dangers posed by the extremist Hindutva forces that now govern India. The threat they posed to minority nations within Indian controlled territory and to neighbouring states was tangible.

He spoke of the simmering tensions in Kashmir where the people were poised to rise up in mass revolt at the continuing violations of human rights and dignity by occupying Indian forces.

Ranjit Singh, PNSD’s Administrative Secretary, presented and was given unanimous approval of resolutions which set out a call from the Conference to:

1. the international community to promote the right of self-determination as a means of peaceable conflict resolution;
2. the UN and its Human Rights Committee to take effective action against those states which in reject Article 1 of the 1966 Covenants, on the basis that blatant opposition to a core UN principle was incompatible with the UN’s purposes and requirements;
3. the UN to establish international criminal tribunals to punish those that have carried out massive human rights abuses and even genocide in order to suppress the right of self-determination; and
4. all relevant state parties to the 1966 Covenants to release all political prisoners whose detention is intended to frustrate the ability of nations to politically and democratically pursue their right of self-determination in accordance with international law.

Ranjit Singh Srai
RANJITSRAI@aol.com
Tel: 07803 169625

Dawn – Tamgha-i-Imtiaz sought for Soran Singh

Staff Reporter

Islamabad, 26 April 2016. Religious leaders on Monday condemned the killing of KP assembly member Sardar Soran Singh and asked the government to announce ‘Tamgha-i-Imtiaz’ for the slain lawmaker.

The speakers expressed their resolve to initiate a campaign against terrorism, extremism, sectarian violence and corruption.

The religious leaders were speaking at a gathering organised by Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) to pay homage to the services of Sardar Soran Singh.

PUC chairman Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi highlighted the struggle the slain lawmaker made for interfaith harmony and elimination of terrorism in the country.

“Sardar Soran Singh sacrificed his family for the cause of Pakistan,” Mr Ashrafi said, referring to the slain lawmaker’s refusal to leave Pakistan along with his wife, who took divorce and settled in India.

He criticised PTI’s leadership for not taking the assassination of its lawmaker seriously.

Christian leader and president of Pakistan Interfaith Organisation Sajid Ishaq said non-Muslims living in Pakistan did not need to be scared of any group or organisation as Pakistan belonged to non-Muslims as it did to the Muslim population.

Bishop Mazhar Ishaq said it was a ray of hope for non-Muslims in Pakistan that people from different schools of thought and religions had united against the killing of Sardar Soran Singh.

Civil society representative Samina Imtiaz said a conference would be arranged in Peshawar to pay tributes to Sardar Soran Singh for his services.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1254481

The Statesman – 1984 anti-Sikh riots: CBI gets 2 months to complete probe

New Delhi, 27 April 2016. A court here on Wednesday granted two months’ time to the CBI to complete its probe in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was given clean chit by the agency.

After the probe agency informed the court that it has approached Interpol to obtain information from the Canadian High Commission, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shivali Sharma asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to make a written submission to the Canadian mission.

The court posted the matter for July 11 for further hearing.

The court on 4 December 2015, ordered the CBI to further investigate a riots case against Tytler, pointing to arms dealer Abhishek Verma’s statement that Tytler had tried to influence a witness.

The court had said it should be found out whether Verma’s statement was true or not.

Verma, in his statement, told the CBI that Tytler had tried to influence one of the witnesses by giving him a hefty sum of money and promising to settle his son abroad.

http://www.thestatesman.com/news/india/1984-anti-sikh-riots-cbi-gets-2-months-to-complete-probe/138929.html

The Tribune – Arrest Mata Chand Kaur’s killers, demand Namdharis

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 28 April 2016. Namdhari Sikhs from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi today took out a march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar and held a rally demanding the arrest of the killers of matriarch Mata Chand Kaur, who was shot dead in Ludhiana district on April 4.

The Namdhari Darbar that led the march submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying that even 24 days after the murder, the Punjab Police had failed to trace the culprits.

Former Member of Parliament H S Hanspal, who led the march, said Namdharis across the country would take to the streets if the state police failed to arrest the killers.

Hanspal further said, “We do not need any SIT (already formed by the Punjab Government). We need action. We Namdharis will not tolerate injustice.”

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/community/arrest-mata-chand-kaur-s-killers-demand-namdharis/229283.html

Erps – Hoepertingen – Erps

Hoepertingen – Sint-Truiden
17 January 2016

035.i.Mariagaarde.17.01.16

Hoepertingen – Mariagaarde
Voor meer menselijkheid

035.j.St-Truiden.23a.17.01.16

Sint-Truiden bus station
De Lijn bus 23A: Tongeren – Hoepertingen – Sint-Truiden

035.k.St-Truiden.17.01.16

Sint-Truiden railway station

035.l.St-Truiden.17.01.16

Sint-Truiden railway station

035.m.St-Truiden.17.01.16

Sint-Truiden railway station
IC Doubledecker to Blankenberge / Knokke

035.n.St-Truiden.17.01.16

Sint-Truiden railway station
This train will take us to Leuven
From Leuven bus 352 or 652 to Erps-Kwerps

To see all my pictures :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Sikh Coalition – Sikh Demands Accountability After Texas Terror Accusation

Amarillo, Texas, USA, 27 April 2016. The Sikh Coalition filed a complaint with Texas law enforcement agencies on behalf of Mr. Daljeet Singh today, demanding that criminal charges be brought against individuals who falsely accused Mr. Singh of making a bomb threat and who unlawfully restrained him on a bus.

Mr. Singh was a passenger on a Greyhound bus traveling through Amarillo, Texas on 21 February 2016, when he was falsely accused by a fellow passenger of making a terroristic threat.

“The only crime I committed was wearing a turban, having a beard, and speaking in a different language to another brown man on a bus,” said Mr. Singh. “I still cannot believe that this happened to me in America.” Mr. Singh, a limited English proficient asylum seeker from India, wears a turban and beard as part of his Sikh articles of faith.

The allegations, which were made by a fellow passenger, were completely fabricated. The passenger profiled Mr. Singh and then alleged that he had been discussing a bomb threat with a second passenger. Mr. Singh was jailed for approximately 30 hours. During that time, local news outlets linked Mr. Singh’s name to terrorism charges.

“When you actually see something you should say something,” said Sikh Coalition Senior Staff Attorney, Gurjot Kaur. “However, what happens when you see nothing and concoct a story that is completely baseless because you don’t like the color of someone’s skin, their religious headwear, and the fact that they speak a different language?

There must be consequences when bigotry and xenophobia trump common sense on a bus deep in the heart of Texas.”

The Sikh Coalition filed a complaint in Potter County against the first passenger for knowingly filing false charges against Mr. Singh, and an additional complaint was filed against two other passengers who unlawfully detained him on the bus.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Potter County prosecutors’ offices cleared Mr. Singh of all criminal wrongdoing.

“Nobody deserves to be treated this way in our country,” said Ms. Kaur. “We trust that local law enforcement will treat our complaint with the same vigilance and vigor as the initial complaint received.”

We urge community members to review our FAQ guide on hate crimes, hate speech and how to report incidents. Also, please view our printable hate crime poster, which is in both English and Punjabi.

Please continue to use our new online tool, http://www.ReportHate.org, to report incidents of harassment, discrimination and violence. We will use the confidential data to better target our outreach efforts to law enforcement, lawmakers and educators. To request legal assistance, please fill out our request legal assistance online form here.

As always, we urge every Sikh to practice their faith fearlessly

The Sikh Coalition
50 Broad Street, Suite 1637
New York, New York State 10004
T 212.655.3095

www.sikhcoalition.org