The Statesman – Doklam ‘severely’ strained India-China ties: Wang told Sushma

Beijing-China, 12 December 2017. At his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the military stand-off in Doklam had put a “severe” strain on bilateral ties.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday released a statement detailing what Wang told Sushma Swaraj during their bilateral meet in New Delhi where the Chinese leader attended the Russia, India and China trilateral meet.

According to the statement, Wang also said that lessons should be learned from Doklam crisis so that it does not happen again even though the crisis was resolved peacefully.

“The viciousness caused by the cross-border infiltration of the Indian border guards put bilateral relations under severe pressure.

“The matter was finally settled peacefully through diplomatic means, reflecting the maturing of bilateral relations. However, lessons should be learned and (it) should not happen again,” Wang was quoted as saying.

“In 2017, relations between China and India have maintained their momentum of development as a whole. Both sides have made efforts in this regard, but they are not very satisfactory,” the Foreign Minister said.

The armies of both countries were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of Sino-Indian border over the building of a road by the Chinese military in the area that is claimed by Bhutan.

Indian troops stalled the work citing the disputed status of Doklam and its proximity to its key artery in the northeast. The crisis was resolved on August 28 after both the armies retreated from the point of the face-off.

It was Wang’s first visit to India since the Doklam crisis.

“The leaders of the two countries pointed out that both China and India should regard each other as partners rather than adversaries.”

Wang said that Sino-India relations were at a crucial period and the most important thing between them should be to cultivate mutual trust.

“With mutual trust, the specific problems are expected to be resolved on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

“Without mutual trust, individual problems will continue to overflow and erode the overall situation of bilateral relations.

“To this end, both sides should strengthen strategic communication at all levels, restore the established dialogue mechanism, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and at the same time control the existing differences and safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.

“If China and India speak with one voice, the world will listen. I hope this day will come soon,” Wang was quoted as saying.


The Tribune – New book says government orchestrated ’84 anti-Sikh riots

New Delhi-India, 12 December 2017. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that claimed the lives of an estimated 8,000 people in Delhi and around the country were not spontaneous as has been made out but were government-orchestrated, says a scathing new book on the four days of mayhem, adding it’s time the world took note of the killings, as it did of the slaughter of a similar number of Bosnian Muslims in 1994.

The book titled “1984 — India’s Guilty Secret”, written by Pav Singh, was released recently.

“At the time, the authorities projected the violence as a spontaneous reaction to the tragic loss of a much-loved Prime Minister.

But evidence points to a government-orchestrated genocidal massacre unleashed by politicians, with the trail leading up to the very heart of the dynastic Gandhi family, and covered up with the help of the police, judiciary and sections of the media,” the author claims.

“It is believed that key players in the then Congress government used the increasingly volatile situation in Punjab to blur the perception of the Sikh community in the eyes of their fellow citizens,” writes Pav Singh, a member of the Magazines and Books Industrial Council of Britain’s National Union of Journalists.

Ieper – Poppy Parade – 11 November 2017 & Gentbrugge

Remembering those that gave their lives
First World War 2014 – 2017

Menen Gate

Menen Gate

Ieper – Nothing to do with World War I

Ninety-nine years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, fighting ceased in the “war to end all wars”

Gentbrugge Stelplaats
Blue PCC Cars
12 November 2017

De Lijn Trams – Depot
Blue PCC Car

Gentbrugge Braemstraat
Stad Gent and watercompany Farys
13 November 2017

Braemstraat after a bit of rain

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

FirstPost – Delhi High Court reserves order on SIT plea to cancel Sajjan Kumar’s bail in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases

New Delhi-India, 12 December 2017. The Delhi High Court on Sunday reserved its order on a plea by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, seeking to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in two matters.

Justice Anu Malhotra heard the arguments of the counsel for the SIT, Sajjan Kumar and riot victims and said it would pass an order.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the SIT which is probing the charges against Kumar, argued that the trial court’s order granting anticipatory bail to the leader was “perverse” and there were overwhelming circumstances which were ignored.

“The observations in the bail order shows that the order was perverse. In a matter of such a magnitude, if anticipatory bail is put up before the trial court, it is imperative upon the judge to consider the material gathered by the prosecuting agency, which is SIT in this case,” Jain contended.

He argued that the trial court’s bail order could not have been and ought not to have been passed, and should be set aside.

While reading out the statements of various witnesses, the ASG said the sessions judge had observed in his order that the evidence was hearsay. However, all these evidence are not hearsay and there are eyewitnesses to the incident, he added.

Kumar was granted anticipatory bail by a trial court on 21 December last year in two separate cases of killing of three Sikhs during the riots which had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Opposing the plea, advocate Anil Sharma, appearing for the Congress leader, said he was neither defending the incident, nor saying that it did not take place.

He submitted that former MP’s name was never taken earlier and it was a case of fresh allegations coming up after 32 years which was not allowed.

Senior advocate Harvinder Singh Phoolka, representing the riot victims, said the SIT was fully empowered to probe the case.

There are two cases filed against Kumar falling in the jurisdictions of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in West Delhi.

The complaint in Janakpuri pertains to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh, on 1 November, 1984 and in the other, where another Sikh, Gurcharan Singh, was burnt on 2 November, 1984 in the jurisdiction of Vikaspuri Police Station.

Gurcharan, who was half burnt, had remained bed-ridden for 29 years. He died three years ago.

The SIT had been constituted by the Union home ministry in February 2015 to re-investigate ‘serious cases’ filed in Delhi relating to riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Dawn – NAB, PML-N at odds over naming of special prosecutor

Syed Irfan Raza

Islamabad-Islamabad Capital Territory-Pakistan, 13 December 2017. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is at loggerheads with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over the appointment of former deputy attorney general Shah Khawar as the bureau’s special prosecutor.

NAB issued on Tuesday a notification about appointment of Shah Khawar because NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal is said to be competent enough to make such an appointment.

But Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, who is a senior leader of the PML-N, slammed the NAB decision, claiming that Mr Khawar had political affiliation with the main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party.

According to NAB, Mr Khawar will represent the bureau in the Supreme Court that is currently hearing a NAB appeal challenging the Lahore High Court’s order in the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference.

NAB has already sent to the law division a summary containing the names of five people for the post of prosecutor general which has been lying vacant for over two weeks after the three-year term of Waqas Qadeer Dar expired on 23 November.

Shah Khawar is also among the five nominees and now it is believed that the new prosecutor general will be one of the four probables, Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Fasihul Mulk, Syed Asghar Haider and Mudassar Khalid Abbasi.

A source in the law ministry told Dawn that the appointment of the new prosecutor general was expected within the next 24 hours. He said the government had indirectly informed NAB that it could not consider Nasir Saeed Sheikh and Fasihul Mulk for the post because both were said to be overage.

However, there is no such bar on age under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999.

NAB is at present pursuing important cases against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family, as well as former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

According to sources, the cases, including Hudaibya Papers Mills, are being heard in various courts without a senior prosecutor, thus appointment of a prosecutor general is vital for pursuing such cases.

A press release issued by NAB said the bureau had been facing difficulty in following its cases due to the absence of a prosecutor general.

“Since important cases are being heard in the Supreme Court and the accountability court in Islamabad, the bureau decided to appoint a special prosecutor instead of waiting for the post of prosecutor general to be filled,” it said.

The appointment of Shah Khawar came a day after the apex court dismissed a NAB application seeking adjournment of proceedings in the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference till the appointment of a prosecutor general. The court observed that the seat of prosecutor general being vacant did not suffice as grounds for adjournment.

When asked if the government had any objection to the appointment of Mr Khawar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Law Barrister Zafarullah told Dawn that he could not comment on the matter. However, he said: “It is an internal matter of NAB.”

He revealed that the NAB summary about the appointment of prosecutor general was under study and a decision on it would be made soon.

Rana Sanaullah said the appointment of Shah Khawar as special prosecutor in the Hudaibya Paper Mills reference was against legal requirements.