The News – Chief Justice rejects criticism, says Supreme Court under no pressure

Islamabad-Islamabad Capital Territory-Pakistan, 16 December 2017. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday said all the judges of the apex court are working independently and every judge has the right to express his openion, a day after the top court gave judgment in a case against Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen.

Speaking at a ceremony, the chief justice dispelled the notion that the Supreme Court was under pressure and was taking dictation, saying “we make all the decisions in accordance with law”.

“This judiciary is under no pressure”, said he, adding that even those who don’t bother to read verdicts start passing remarks.

He said he was not aware the judgment in Hudaibiya Papers Mills case was due to be announced the same day court was scheduled to give its decision on disqualification case of Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen.

“Institution of Judiciary is your elder, you should not doubt its integrity. this elder neither has become part of any plan nor will it become so.

“Judges make decision with complete honesty and integrity”, he said adding that the court should not be subjected to abuse and criticism over its judgements .

“Forget that judiciary is under pressure. Where is this plan and pressure coming coming from, he asked.

“I can swear that there is no pressure on judiciary, all the decisions here are made according to conscience”, the Chief Justice of Pakistan said.

The Tribune – Snap ties with BJP for Panth’s sake, SAD told

Amritsar, 16 December 2017. Two days after the SAD celebrated its foundation day, radical Sikh activists and organisations today called upon the Badals to snap ties with the BJP to return to its original Panthic agenda.

Takht Damdama Sahib former Jathedar Giani Kewal Singh said there was a need to reinvent the Akali Dal as the Badal family heading it for long had abandoned the Panthic agenda.

Panthic Talmel Sangathan, a conglomerate of 50 Sikh bodies, said the Akali Dal chief was far from the Sikh ideology of erasing self and keeping the Panth ahead. Dal Khalsa censured SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal for “betraying Sikh interests”.

Snap ties with Badals for Panth’s sake
Man in Blue

Gent – Ledeberg – Gentbrugge

Gent Korenmarkt – Ledebergplein – Gentbrugge Braemstraat
17 November 2017

Albert Heijn Korenmarkt reopened after reorganisation

Ledebergplein – Tram 4 to Muide

Ledebergplein – World War I monument

Gentbrugge Stelplaats  – Blue PCC cars

Braemstraat – Farys and Stad Gent works

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Indian Express – British Sikh MPs upset with minister who said Jagtar Singh Johal was fine in Punjab jail

Many Sikh bodies in Britain had alleged that Johal, who was arrested for his alleged role in series of murders of right-wing leaders in Punjab, was exposed to human rights violations in jail

Kamaldeep Singh Brar

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 17 December 2017. Preet Kaur Gill, a Sikh MP in the UK, has written on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs to the British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field, expressing shock over the submission of minister that Jagtar Singh Johal, a UK national lodged in Punjab jail in connection with a number of killings, was doing fine.

Many Sikh bodies in Britain had alleged that Johal, who was arrested for his alleged role in series of murders of right-wing leaders in Punjab, was exposed to human rights violations in jail. Mark Field, in his recent letter to Preet Kaur Gill, had said Johal was fine and had access to all essentials required.

Writing back to Mark Field, Gill said, “I was shocked to see that you had written Mr Johal has confirmed he was fine, given the facts of this case that have been widely reported in the mainstream media.

When his lawyer first met him on 14 November, some 10 days after his abduction, Jagtar alleged he had been subjected to third-degree torture. You confirmed earlier this week in Parliament that consular staff were made aware of the allegations through Jagtar’s lawyer”.

Apart from Gill, other MPs who are part of All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs are Alison Thewliss, Dominic Grieve, Lucy Allan, Mike Gapes, Pat Macfadden, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and Tom Brake.

The letter further reads, “At their first meeting with Jagtar, some 12 days after his abduction on November 16, the senior consular officer concluded that Jagtar was vulnerable, despite two senior police officers being present which prevented Jagtar from discussing the torture and mistreatment he has experienced. I am surprised you overlooked acknowledging this important fact in your response”.

British Sikh MPs upset with minister who said Jagtar Singh Johal was fine in Punjab jail

Dawn – Asma Jahangir seeks parliamentary probe into Faizabad sit-in

Ikram Junaidi

Islamabad-Islamabad Capital Territory-Pakistan, 17 December 2017. Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir has called for a probe by a parliamentary committee to ascertain as to who was behind the recent Faizabad sit-in and from where a new lot came despite a successful operation against religious activists.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) at a hotel here on Saturday, she said: “We don’t want a judicial commission on it and demand that only a parliamentary committee should investigate the matter”.

The HRCP meeting was held to finalise recommendations on possible strategies to protect places of religious significance against faith-based violence.

“We need to know how the army became a guarantor during the agreement between the government and protesters. Why money was distributed among the protesters”, she said. “The parliamentary committee should see how people reached Islamabad and who brought them”, she said.

On 25 November, an operation was started by thousands of personnel of law enforcement agencies against the activists of a religious group who were demanding resignation of then law minister Zahid Hamid. Police removed the protesters in the morning, but later a new lot reached there and occupied the Faizabad interchange.

Ms Jahangir claimed that every department and institution, such as the opposition, economics and Foreign Office, were being influenced by the same people who were playing a role in issues of Balochistan and Fata. “The government and civil society have become hostage,” she said, adding: “Militarisation of politics has been started in Pakistan”.

The lawyer said that by the Faizabad sit-in a message had been conveyed that the powers that be had every kind of groups for waging proxy wars. “It has politicians, lawyers and even those groups who can do politics in the name of religion. Unfortunately political parties have surrendered”.

The rights activist claimed that even on the issue of Fata reforms, the same powerful people had taken a lead role. “If politicians cannot control the situation, they should call out the masses”, she suggested.

While talking about a negative impact on society because of such interference, she said that religious intolerance had been increasing, especially after the Faizabad sit-in, as now people had been deciding who was a good Muslim and who was not.

Ms Jahangir said the civil society had taken an initiative in Karachi and started a signature campaign for rights, but political parties had surrendered and some of the politicians had admitted that in parliament things were controlled. “A charter of civil society will be made after consultation with the media, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders”, she said.

“Pakistan can develop only under a democratic system. Moreover, the judiciary should give justice rather than becoming involved in political balancing acts. The judiciary should not look at political cases in a political way”, Ms Jahangir said.

In reply to a question, she said ‘encroachments’ would not be accepted without resistance because whenever a dictatorship came in Pakistan it took 20 years to bring the country back on track. Even in parliament there was censorship and politicians faced threats, she regretted.

“We have also requested politicians to speak up, but we cannot keep silent just because they are not ready to speak against those who are hatching conspiracies”, she said.

In reply to a question that the PPP, PTI and PSP had been showing solidarity with Dr Tahirul Qadri and he might hold a sit-in in Islamabad, Ms Jahangir said that Mr Qadri had become Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan.

“Politicians should draw a red line and need to understand what is right and what is wrong”, she said.

Renowned rights activist I A Rehman said that civil society wanted that all political parties should sit together and give a message to all institutions that they should work in their domain. “No one has the right to encroach upon the domain of other department. The executive cannot look into the affairs of the judiciary and the judiciary should not look into the issues of the executive”, he said.

“I suggest that all political parties should play their collective role for democracy and if there is any hurdle or difference of opinion, civil society can provide them a platform”, he said.