The News – Indian extremists call for boycott of all Chinese goods

Web Desk

New Delhi, 20 October 2016. Indian extremists have called for a boycott of all Chinese products, saying that ‘China makes money out of India and helps Pakistan,” Indian media reported.

According to India media, Indian extremist and yoga guru Baba Ramdev has called for boycott of all Chinese goods in the country.

Ramdev said that he wants to put socio-economic pressure on the China because they make money by selling its goods in India to help all-weather friend Pakistan.

“China makes money out of India and helps Pakistan,” he said.

Advertisements – Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) To Institute Committee to Work on Sarbat Khalsa ‘Vidhi Vidhan’ #SarbatKhalsa

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh, Panjab, 25 October 2016. As the suspended Punj Piare from Sri Akal Takht Sahib had inaugurated a panel of Sikh scholars to work on Sarbat Khalsa vidhi vidhan on October 18 during the meeting in Chandigarh, the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (SADA) is also working to establish a similar panel that will finalize the documentation, which will be passed during Sarbat Khalsa 2016 gathering.

Sources within the SADA have informed Sikh24 that the Sarbat Khalsa 2016 scheduled to be held at Talwandi Sabo on November 10 will pass the Vidhi Vidhan specifying the procedure for appointment, retirement and jurisdiction of Takht Jathedars. This procedure will also detail how and when the Sarbat Khalsa can be called, and who can give the call.

Sikh24 has learnt that the drafts of Vidhi Vidhan prepared by some prominent Sikh intellectuals like S. Karamjit Singh Chandigarh and Bhai Narain Singh Chaura were being discussed by SADA. In addition, Sri Damdama Sahib Jathedar Bhai Baljit Singh Daduwal too has prepared a draft, which is also being considered.

Notably, the SADA has mass impact on the Sarbat Khalsa 2016 called at Talwandi Sabo. Along with the United Akali Dal, the SADA was the key organizer of the event last year. SADA is adamant to hold its grip on the Sikh institution of ‘Sarbat Khalsa’.

Despite the order of Akal Takht Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara of handing over the leadership of Sarbat Khalsa 2016 to the sacked ‘Punj Piares’, the SADA leadership and other three Takht Jathedars have been continuing their meetings ignoring Jathedar Hawara’s order.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) To Institute Committee to Work on Sarbat Khalsa ‘Vidhi Vidhan’ #SarbatKhalsa

Gent – Zelzate – Sas van Gent (NL) – Axel (NL)

Gent – Axel
Zeeuws Vlaanderen – Nederland
8 August 2016


Buurtbus 513 from Sas van Gent to Axel


Evi at Axel – Bolwerk


Axel seen from Bolwerk


Axel, the mill on the Bolwerk
Arm of Evi


Axel – Evi at the Bolwerk


Axel – Het Looseshof 1982

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian and Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – Lest we forget: What five eminent Sikhs and a former prime minister witnessed during the 1984 riots [pogroms]

As Sikhs were being massacred in Delhi after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Zail Singh stood by helplessly, Home Minister Narasimha Rao played cool.

On November 1, 1992, The Pioneer newspaper, then edited by the legendary Vinod Mehta, published a story that Amit Prakash and this reporter had stitched together.

Titled, 1984: The Price of Inaction Revisited, we based our story on the experiences of an eminent band of five Sikhs, the personal diary of I K Gujral, who was to later become India’s prime minister, accounts of police officers, and reports of inquiry commissions and civil rights groups.

The eminent band of Sikhs included two who are celebrated for their heroics in war, the country’s only Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh, and Lt General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the hero of the 1971 Bangladesh war.

The other three were the noted writer Patwant Singh, diplomat Gurbachan Singh and Brigadier (retd) Sukhjit Singh, a scion of the Kapurthala royal family.

Of them, we spoke at length to Patwant Singh, Lt General Aurora and Arjan Singh, who is still alive. Gujral read out his diary entries to us. The story below is an abridged version of 1984: The Price of Inaction Revisited, written in the spirit which novelist Milan Kundera described as: “The struggle for power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

October 31, 9.18 am: Indira Gandhi is shot

At 10 am, author Patwant Singh heard Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been shot at by her Sikh guards. Despite running a fever, he got onto his feet and asked his secretary to call Lt General Jagjit Singh Aurora, Air Marshal Arjan Singh, diplomat Gurbachan Singh, and Brigadier (retd) Sukhjit Singh, all of them prominent Sikh citizens of Delhi.

To Arjan Singh, Patwant Singh said, “We must make our positions clear: Assassinations can’t and should never be a solution to political problems.” Arjan Singh asked him to prepare a draft statement for the Press.

The five decided to meet at Patwant Singh’s 11, Amrita Shergill Marg residence at 3.30 pm. Their alacrity suggested they had a foreboding of what lay ahead. Arjan Singh said he would try to reach out to I K Gujral and invite him to their meeting.

The Gujrals were not at home. Unknown to Arjan Singh, Gujral and his wife were wending their way to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where Indira Gandhi had been taken after she was sprayed with bullets.

Gujral was once a member of what was referred to as Gandhi’s “Kitchen Cabinet”, but had fallen out of favour after he decided to oppose Sanjay Gandhi’s attempt to censor the Press during the Emergency.

About his visit to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Gujral wrote in his diary:

“Reached AIIMS at 12.30 pm. We were taken to the eight floor where her body had been laid. [Godman] Dhirendra Brahmachari emerged from one of the rooms and whispered to Maneka [Gandhi], ‘She is dead’. Later, at the exit on the ground floor, [Union Minister P] Shiv Shankar confirmed the news.”

Her death was not made official, perhaps because her only surviving son, Rajiv Gandhi, was away in West Bengal. President Zail Singh, too, was abroad. There was, after all, the issue of succession to sort out.

At 3.30 pm, the eminent Sikhs began to discuss Patwant Singh’s draft of the statement. There was disagreement only on one count: Should a caveat be entered against the possibility of a backlash against the Sikh community? Aurora’s was the only contrarian voice, he felt there was no sign to fear attacks against Sikhs.

He brought others around to his view. A call was made to The Indian Express editor George Varghese, requesting him to give their statement condemning the assassination of Indira Gandhi a prominent slot.

Perhaps Aurora would not have taken a contrarian position at 11, Amrita Shergill Marg had he known what was happening outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where a crowd had gathered. One man’s turban was snatched and burnt. A Sikh was dragged out of his car and beaten.

Before Rajiv Gandhi returned to Delhi at 4 pm, and Zail Singh an hour later, just about every person in Delhi knew that Indira Gandhi was dead. The rumour mill was India’s social media then.

October 31, dusk: Disturbances spread

When President Zail Singh visited the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, stones were pelted at his cavalcade. It was done, according to police sources, by supporters of a Congress metropolitan councilor who was subsequently assassinated.

This set off a competition among local Congress leaders. Sikhs and Sikh-owned properties in INA Market, Sarojini Nagar Market and South Extension in South Delhi were attacked.

Those at 11, Amrita Shergill Marg were oblivious to what had started unfolding on Delhi’s streets. At 6.30 pm, Arjan Singh’s car backed out of Patwant Singh’s residence and turned left from where Amrita Shergill Marg loops to join Lodhi Road.

At the T-junction, two men rushed to him. One of them warned, “Sardarji, don’t take this route. Danga [rioting] has started.”

Twenty-five minutes later, at 6.55 pm, President Zail Singh administered the oath of office to Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded his mother as Prime Minister.

An hour or two after sunset, Deputy Commissioner (South Delhi) Chandra Prakash felt that the situation in Delhi was teetering out of control. He suggested to Additional Commissioner (New Delhi Range) Gautam Kaul that a curfew be imposed and the Army be called in. In a subsequent memorandum to the Union Home Ministry, Prakash wrote,

“Kaul turned down my recommendation stating that a meeting had already taken place sometime earlier in the Prime Minister’s house, where the Home Minister was also present, and a decision had been taken not to impose curfew and call out the Army at that stage.”

The Home Minister then was P V Narasimha Rao, who was to become Prime Minister seven years later. The Delhi Police reported to him. Chandra Prakash, ironically, was later indicted by inquiry commissions for failing to control the 1984 riots.

At night, the violence spread to North Delhi. A dry fruits shop was broken into and looted. However, the mob was dispersed and a police officer took the cash box into his custody.

Later, a string of timber merchant shops in Pili Kothi area in Central Delhi were set ablaze. The police found local Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders instigating the mob.

November 1, forenoon: Planned carnage

Between 9 am and 11 am, mobs began to raid Delhi’s residential colonies where Sikhs were concentrated. Killings and rapes occurred, as did looting and burning.

The Delhi Police was paralysed. It seemed as if diabolical souls had kept awake the previous night scripting and choreographing the dance of death that Delhi watched helplessly, but also, at places, with cannibalistic ecstasy.

Hearing about the carnage, Gujral placed a call to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Zail Singh promptly came on the line. About their conversation, Gujral wrote in his diary:

“He sounded pathetic and pleaded helplessness. He requested me to visit different parts of Delhi and seek governmental assistance.”

Gujral called Delhi’s Lt Governor, P G Gavai, at 11 am. Gujral’s entry read:

“I suggested the Army should be called in. Gavai says it will cause panic. I replied, ‘You are talking of not causing panic, but the whole city is already burning.’”

However, another version claimed that Gavai had indeed asked for the Army to be summoned the previous evening but was overruled by the Home Ministry.

It corroborates Chandra Prakash’s memorandum, belying the recent claims of those who allege it was the Prime Minister’s Office, not P V Narasimha Rao, who was overseeing the affairs of Delhi in those traumatic hours.

Meanwhile, diplomat Gurbachan Singh had managed to secure a 12.05 pm appointment with Zail Singh. It was decided they would assemble at 11, Amrita Shergill Marg. When Aurora sat in his car at his New Friends Colony residence, his driver cautioned him against venturing out.

But the man who had brought Pakistan to its knees in 1971 was firm in his resolve, unmindful of a mob that had begun to surround a gurdwara there. They took another route out of New Friends Colony, counted among Delhi’s spiffy colonies, and then sped to their destination.

Just 15 km away, a mob had surrounded Gurdwara Sis Ganj in Old Delhi, where hundreds of Sikhs had taken refuge. The mob started to launch sallies from both the Chandni Chowk and Red Fort sides of the gurdwara. The jathedars (community leaders) in the gurdwara, too, got into position.

Separating the assailants from defenders was a small contingent of policemen led by Deputy Commissioner Maxwell Pereira. He ordered his men to fire. The mob dispersed. One person died, hundreds of lives were saved.

By contrast, a strong 500-mob was allowed to go on the rampage in Trilokpuri Resettlement Colony in East Delhi, where the first Sikh victim was a scooterist who was burnt alive.

A college lecturer sought the help of two police constables posted at a gurdwara in Block 36. They walked away. The gurdwara was attacked.

November 1, 12.05 pm: The President shrugs

The eminent group of five Sikhs trooped into Rashtrapati Bhavan for their appointment. They were agitated. They narrated to the President the horrific scenes unfolding on the streets of Delhi. Zail Singh heard them silently. Aurora suggested to the President that he should address the nation on radio and television.

Patwant Singh complained that Doordarshan was allowing the provocative slogans being shouted at Teen Murti House – where the body of Indira Gandhi lay in state, to filter through. The President remained mum.

Aurora suggested, “Why don’t you call the Army?” The President said he did not have the powers to do so. A livid Patwant Singh remarked, “When the nation is burning the President has to intervene.”

Arjan Singh coaxed Zail Singh to speak to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. To their shock, he replied, “He is too busy. When I go to Teen Murti House I will try to talk to him.”

The President suggested that they should speak to Home Minister Rao. A presidential aide was asked to put in a call to him, but was told that Rao was in a meeting.

The Cabinet Secretary was telephoned. An official came on the line. Aurora introduced himself. The official said, “General, it is too dangerous for a Sikh to venture out. I don’t know where the Cabinet Secretary is.”

Angry and disconsolate, they sat there with Zail Singh, wondering what to do next, when at 1.15 pm the President’s press secretary Tarlochan Singh rushed in with the news that the Home Ministry had decided to requisition the Army.

But the mobs were on a killing spree. Residential blocks in Jahangirpuri in North Delhi had already been gutted, hundreds of Sikhs massacred. Posh South Delhi colonies were not spared either. In East Delhi, the mob had moved from Block 36 to Block 32 of Trilokpuri.

Back from Rashtrapati Bhavan, Patwant Singh and Aurora were joined by Gujral at 11, Amrita Shergill Marg. The trio decided to barge in at the 9, Motilal Nehru Marg residence of Home Minister Narasimha Rao.

November 1, afternoon: Rao plays cool [bold]

The trio was amazed at how relaxed Rao looked. He told them, “The Army will be here in the evening.”

Lt General Aurora asked, “How will it be deployed?” An unflappable Rao said, “The [Army] Area commander will meet the Lt Governor for this purpose.”

Aurora shot back angrily, “You have called the Army 30 hours too late.”

He then advised Rao: “Your first task should be to set up a Joint Control Room to coordinate between the police and the Army.” Unflustered, Rao said, “I will look into it.” The meeting ended.

For a man who had been a minister for so long, it does, in hindsight, seem surprising that Rao would not have known the procedure that is followed when the Army is called to assist civilian authority.

Even as Rao played cool, five rows comprising 190 houses in Block 32 of Trilokpuri were reduced to ashes. Only five men survived. The estimated death toll: 450 dead. Women were raped and killed, a few abducted and taken to a nearby village.

In the evening, Army units began moving into Delhi. Unknown to Aurora, two soldiers were positioned at his residence in New Friends Colony by an Army officer who came to know that was where the hero of the Bangladesh war lived.

However, Aurora did not return home, persuaded as he had been by the Gujrals to spend the night at their place. Gujral recorded in his diary:

“Delhi is burning. There are reports of trains arriving with corpses. It is like 1947. Gen Aurora spent the night with us. The hero of 1971 could not sleep in his own house in Delhi.”

November 2, morning: The Army is in control

At the sight of the Army on Delhi’s streets, the marauders did not venture out in South Delhi, though the killing continued in Trilokpuri, Mongolpuri and other trans-Yamuna colonies. Two Indian Express reporters went to Police Control Room to inform them about the massacres in Trilokpuri. They were laughed out of the room.

The relative calm elsewhere in Delhi prompted people to inquire about the well-being of their relatives and friends. Patwant Singh was surprised to find commentator Romesh Thapar and Swedish Charge d’ Affairs Rolf Gauffin at his door. Gauffin said, “Delhi isn’t safe. We have come to evacuate you to the Embassy.” He turned down the offer.

For the next few days, men, women and students began to work in relief camps. Civil rights groups began to document eyewitness accounts to prepare their reports, which eventually named the leaders who spearheaded or incited mobs to attack Sikhs. Thirty-two years later, most of the masterminds of the attacks remain unpunished.


Ten days later, Aurora, Arjan Singh and Gujral requested Congress minister Rajesh Pilot to arrange a meeting with Rajiv Gandhi. After waiting at Pilot’s residence for two hours, they received a message: “If you want to condole with Rajiv Gandhi, the meeting can be held immediately.”

To the messenger, Aurora said, “Obviously, we want to condole. But we also want to tell him about the misery the Sikhs had to undergo and about the necessity of punishing the guilty.”

The meeting was cancelled. The powerful were not willing to listen to the woes of the people. This was also true of the 1992-’93 Mumbai riots, and the 2002 riots in Gujarat.

Ajaz Ashraf is a journalist in Delhi. His novel, The Hour Before Dawn, has as its backdrop the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

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Dawn – Supreme Court hanging of mentally ill convict Imdad Ali

Naveed Siddiqui

Islamabad, 31 October 2016. Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of Imdad Ali, a schizophrenic man convicted in 2002 for murdering a cleric.

The hanging was postponed on the basis of Ali’s mental illness.

The court issued notices to Advocate General Punjab, Prosecutor General Punjab and Attorney General, seeking their comments on the issue.

The notices were issued in connection with a review petition submitted by Imdad Ali’s wife. The apex court had already rejected a plea as his lawyers said Ali is unfit to be executed since he is unable to understand his crime and punishment.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the case.

Counsel for Ali’s wife informed the court that the death warrant for Ali has been issued, however he has not yet been executed.

The hearing of the case will resume in the second week of November.

Government doctors in 2012 certified Imdad Ali, 50, as being a paranoid schizophrenic, after he was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2001 murder of a cleric.

‘Characterised insane’

While dismissing her appeal against the Aug 23 order of the Lahore High Court’s Multan Bench upholding the sentence awarded by the trial court, the Supreme Court had ruled that mental sickness like schizophrenia did not subjugate the death sentence because such a psychiatric disorder was not a permanent disease.

“Schizophrenia is not a permanent mental disorder, rather imbalance, increasing or decreasing depending upon the level of stress,” the court had held, adding that in recent years, the prognosis of such ailments had been improved with drugs and a vigorous psychological and social management and rehabilitation.

It was, therefore, a recoverable disease, which in all the cases did not fall within the definition of “mental disorder” as defined in the Mental Health Ordinance 2001, the verdict stated.

In her review petition, Safia Bano pleaded that the Supreme Court reconsider its Sept 27 judgement, especially when it was evident from across the medical jurisprudence that paranoid schizophrenia was classified as a chronic and permanent mental disorder, affecting cognitive functions.

The medical records, the petition said, reflected that Ali had consistently displayed symptoms of schizophrenia and was not showing signs of improvement and had active psychotic symptoms.

According to Ali’s medical report of Nov 20, 2012, paranoid schizophrenia significantly impairs the patient’s rational thinking and decision-making capabilities.

In the prison’s medical record and a reply filed by the superintendent of the Vehari district jail to the high court, Ali had consistently been recorded as suffering from persecutory or paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations, the petition said, adding that his jail record demonstrated that his illness was severe and permanent and that no lucid periods had been recorded.

Dr Tahir Feroze, a consultant psychiatrist of Nishtar Hospital, Multan, who had been treating Ali for several years in the jail had also conceded in his September 18 affidavit before the court that Ali’s mental illness was of a chronic nature, meaning that it was incurable and that he was currently of unsound mind and had been characterised insane, the petition argued.

The Asian Age – Wrap-up: Akhilesh Yadav wins round two as well

Asian Age Correspondent

30 October 2016. The Samajwadi Party may have lost ground in the bitter battle that has played out in Uttar Pradesh in the past two months but, ironically, it is chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who has gained tremendously in terms of support and popularity.

It is the young chief minister’s growing support from the youth that has left the entire senior leadership almost stunned and has, reportedly, forced SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav to give up the idea of a change of leadership in the government.

The two-day drama at the Samajwadi Party office during which thousands of youths rooted for Akhilesh and hooted out the senior leaders showed, for the first time, that Akhilesh has managed to firmly establish himself as a youth icon in state politics.

The Samajwadi Party had never witnessed the kind of scenes that it saw on Monday when Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mr Shivpal Yadav addressed party leaders.

There was constant slogan shouting in favour of Akhilesh and Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, was forced to ask the crowds to keep quiet but they did not heed his orders. State president Shivpal Yadav was not only interrupted several times during his speech in which he criticized the chief minister but also faced uneasy questions from the audience.

When he said he had widely toured the state, a youth leader Atul Pradhan shouted, “You went around in a helicopter” which forced Shivpal to ask “Helicopter tumhare baap ka tha kya?” (Did the helicopter belong to your father).

The scores of young men who remained outside the party headquarters for two consecutive days, shouting slogans like ‘Jai Akhilesh, Sirf Akhilesh’ and demanding that he should be named the chief ministerial candidate, may not subscribe to the party ideology and may not even be familiar with the life and times of Dr Lohia, but they definitely reflect the mood of the youth.

Akhilesh has proved that he has the energy of the youth behind him even if they are bereft of party ideology.

The political crisis in the Samajwadi Party began with Akhilesh being replaced as the state party chief with his uncle Shivpal Yadav. However, back then also Akhilesh survived a major political crisis, as party supremo decided against replacing him as the chief minister.

The Tribune – On Bandi Chhor eve, Dhyan Singh Mand placed under ‘house arrest’

Tribune News Service

Amritsar/Ferozepur, 29 October 2016. Dhyan Singh Mand, the Sarbat Khalsa-appointed acting Akal Takht “Jathedar”, was allegedly placed under house arrest in Ferozepur today. He had announced to deliver a message to the Sikh community from the Akal Takht on the occasion of Bandi Chhor Diwas tomorrow.

His message is now likely to be conveyed in the form of handouts at the Golden Temple. Mand might be released in the afternoon tomorrow.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh is scheduled to address the Sikh Sangat on Bandi Chhor Diwas. However, various Sikh organisations are up in arms against him, claiming that he has been rejected by the community.

SAD (Amritsar) leader Jarnail Singh Sakhira said the Sikh community would stage a protest in case Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh delivered the message. Sakhira was among the organisers of the “Sarbat Khalsa” held last year.

Sakhira and another congregation organiser, Gurdeep Singh, slammed Mand’s detention. They said the police were not even allowing any communication with Mand.

Another Sikh outfit, Dal Khalsa has also announced a protest against Giani Gurbachan Singh’s address.

Security is expected to be beefed up in and around the shrine tomorrow. Sources said the SGPC would deploy more members of its task force, while the police would be present in mufti inside the Golden Temple complex.

When contacted, Ferozepur SSP RK Bakshi denied that the police had detained Mand or kept him under house arrest.

Gent – Zelzate – Sas van Gent – Axel vv

Gent – Axel
8 August 2016


Gent Sint-Pieters bus station
Evi and bus 55 to Zelzate

Zelzate – Klein Rusland
Connexxion bus 6 to Sas van Gent and Terneuzen


Zelzate – Klein Rusland
Bus 6 to Terneuzen WST


Zelzate – Klein Rusland
Bus stop for bus 55 to Gent

Zeeuws Vlaanderen – Nederland


Sas van Gent – Bolwerk
‘Buurtbus’ 513 to Axel


Sas van Gent – Bolwerk

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian and Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Deccan Chronicle – Border Security Force not to exchange sweets with Pakistan Rangers at Wagah border this Diwali

Amritsar, 30 October 2016. Amidst the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, the Border Security Force (BSF) will not be exchanging sweets with the Pakistan Rangers at the Attari-Wagah Border on Sunday on the occasion of Diwali.

This move by the BSF is in protest to the growing incidents of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border.

Ever since the Indian Army on September 29th carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, ceasefire violations are a daily norm along the LoC and five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured since.

The Indian Army on Saturday launched retaliatory fire assaults at Pakistan Army positions, inflicting massive damage across the border by destroying four Pakistani posts in a massive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran Sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.

An Indian soldier was also killed on Friday and his body was mutilated by terrorists in an attack near the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. The army had said “the incident will be responded to appropriately”, adding the attackers had fled into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir “under the cover of heavy firing by Pakistan army”.

Sepoy Mandeep Singh, who died in the attack, was 27 years old. The attack took place under cover fire provided by the Pakistan Army. One terrorist was killed in the strike.

On October 21, the BSF killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in Kathua and on October 25, around three Pakistani Army personnel were reportedly killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district.

The Hindu – China warns India ties may be hit if Dalai Lama visits Arunachal

“The Dalai clique … has very disgraceful behaviour on issues relating to China-India boundary question.”

Beijing, 28 October 2016. China on Friday warned India that bilateral ties may suffer “damage” and affect peace and stability of the border areas if New Delhi allowed Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims is part of southern Tibet.

“We are seriously concerned about the relevant information,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a media briefing here replying to a question about reports that India has granted permission to the religious leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh at the invitation of Chief Minister Pema Khandu.

‘Our line is clear’

“China’s position on the eastern section of China India border is consistent and clear. The Dalai clique is engaged in anti-China separatist activity and has very disgraceful behaviour on issues relating to China-India boundary question,” Mr. Lu said.

The Indian side is well aware of the severity of the Dalai Lama issue as well as the sensitivity of the China-India boundary question, he has said.

“Under such circumstances India’s invitation to the Dalai Lama for activity in the disputed areas between China and India will only damage peace, stability of the border areas as well as the bilateral relationship between China and India,” Mr. Lu said.

Honour your word on Tibet

“We require the Indian side to honour the political commitment to Tibet-related issues and abide by the bilateral consensus on boundary question,” the spokesman said.

India also should “refrain from taking any action that may complicate the issue, do not provide any platform for anti-China separatist activities by the 14th Dalai Lama,” he said. “Only by doing so can we maintain sound and steady growth of the bilateral relations,” he added.

Asked about assertions by External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup that the Dalai Lama has visited the state in the past, Mr. Lu said “making one mistake does not mean that you can make another mistake.”

‘Ties will be at peril’

“As I just said, India’s invitation to the Dalai Lama for activity in the disputed area between China and India is like providing a platform for anti-China separatist activities. It does no good to peace and tranquility in the border areas as well as the development of China-India relations,” he said.

China considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet and routinely objects to visits by the Dalai Lama, Indian leaders as well as foreign dignitaries. The border dispute covers the 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.

On October 24, China took exception to the visit by Richard Verma, the United States envoy in India, to Arunachal Pradesh.