Tolo News – Concerns raised over ‘Planned Taliban Attack’ on Gardez City

Officials said Taliban fighters who fled Ghazni city after the siege are now scattered through Paktia province.

Abdulhaq Omeri

Gardez – Paktia – Afghanistan, 28 August 2018. Provincial police chief Raz Mohammad Mandozai said that Taliban were planning to conduct a group attack on the city and that security had been tightened up.

However, he raised concerns over not having enough security forces in the city.

“For the past few months and especially after the Ghazni incident, based on intelligence information, there are some threats against Paktia’s districts and the capital Gardez city but security measures are being taken because insurgents will take their dreams with them to the grave if they attack Paktia districts and the center like they did in Ghazni,” Mandozai said.

Meanwhile, Paktia residents and provincial council members said that if central government does not pay attention to their concerns the city will fall to the Taliban.

“Taliban leadership is mostly controlled by the foreign Taliban and they want to conduct the same attack on Gardez city, like Ghazni, and other districts because there are lots of insurgents that exist in parts of the city,” said Taj Mohammad Mangal Paktia provincial council member.

“Almost all the districts of the province are under threat,” said Mohammad Rahman Qadiri another provincial council member.

“We want government to pay attention to Gardez city so Gardez does not face the same fate as Ghazni faced. The government must prevent (attacks) otherwise who will be responsible for the losses of people and businessmen,” said Atta a Gardez resident.

Paktia provincial police said that most of the Taliban that fled Ghazni city are now scattered through Paktia province and are planning to attack Gardez city.

These concerns come after the Taliban stormed Ghazni City – 148 kilometers southwest of Kabul – at around 1am Kabul time on Friday 10th of August.

Hundreds of Taliban fighters were involved and held the city under siege for four days.

The Tribune – Look into ‘threats’ to Himmat Singh: High Court

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 28 August 2018. The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed the Amritsar Commissioner of Police to look into alleged threats faced by Himmat Singh, brother of Akal Takht head granthi Giani Gurmukh Singh, and his family and initiate action if needed.

His statement was “recorded” by the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission during the sacrilege probe before Himmat disowned it.

Sint-Pieters Woluwe – Notre-Dame du Chant-d’Oiseau

Notre–Dame du Chant-d’Oiseau
8 Augustus 2018

Presentation by Jonas Slaats

Listening to thought-provoking speaker

Paul de Witte Moderator – Jonas Slaats speaker

Listening – taking notes

More people came to listen to Jonas than just the participants of our four-day retreat

Syrian Kurdish music group

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Daily Record – Petrol bomb attack damages Edinburgh Sikh temple [gurdwara]

Church of Scotland leader condemns the attack on the Edinburgh Gurdwara, insisting there’s no room for intolerance.

Jane Hamilton

Edinburgh – Lothian – Scotland, 28 August 2018. A Sikh temple [gurdwara] was badly damaged after vandals launched a “hateful” petrol bomb attack.

Police and fire-fighters raced to the The Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sahib in Leith after the alarm was raised by a member of the public early this morning.

The fire started with a lit bottle full of petrol being thrown at the doors of the temple.

It was quickly extinguished, but the building sustained extensive smoke damage and will remain closed until fire investigators declare it is safe for worshippers to return.

The temple, which has been opened since 1976, is also a meeting place for the capital’s Sikh community and has around 400 strong congregation.

A police source said: “It’s possible an accelerant was used.

“The doors to the temple are heavy and managed to hold the fire back well, but there is significant smoke damage inside.

“We don’t have a motive as yet and it could just be a random act of mindless vandalism.

“The Sikh temple [gurdwara] does a lot of work in the local community and this is very upsetting for them that someone has targeted their place of worship.”

Sirinder Simon Singh Swali broke the news on Facebook to fellow worshippers and appealed for any information.

He wrote: “We need this person caught.

“We regret to inform you that, Guru Nanak Gurdwara suffered an arson attack this morning at 5 am.

“Someone tried to burn down the front door. There’s a lot of internal smoke damage and access has been denied by police, until smoke clears and is safe to enter.

“Divan hall has major smoke damage. Investigations are ongoing, and forensic officers are on site. Please note access is not possible at this point.”

The Church of Scotland yesterday expressed their sympathy to Edinburgh’s Sikh community after the arson attack.

Right Reverend Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “How sad that a place of worship should be the target of such a hateful act.

“I am glad no one was injured and extend sympathy to the Sikh community in Edinburgh.

“We recognise the actions of a small minority do not reflect the good relations that exist with your local community. There is no room in Scotland for intolerance.”

One local businessman, who asked not to be named, said: “I have no idea why anyone would want to target the temple [gurdwara].

“Everyone likes the Sikh community in Leith and they get on with almost everyone in the local community. It’s an outrage.”

And a Police Scotland spokesman explained: “Police in Edinburgh were alerted to a fire at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Sheriff Brae at around 5.05 am.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the flames at the front door. Some of the building’s interior also sustained smoke damage.

“A joint investigation is currently underway to determine the full circumstances surrounding this incident.”

Volunteers from the temple feed hundreds of people a week at free food stations they have operated around Edinburgh since 2015.

The food is cooked at the temple, transferred to buffet trays and taken to the distribution points.

A separate mobile team travels around Leith Walk and elsewhere, taking food to people who are sleeping rough on the streets.

When they first started they were feeding 50 people a week but that has risen to hundreds using the service as demand for foodbanks continue to grow.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.

Dawn – Human Rights Watch asks Imran Khan to make human rights government’s top priority

Amin Ahmed

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 28 August 2018. Human Rights Watch has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to make human rights a key focus of his government since Pakistan faces serious human rights challenges, and addressing them should be one of the new government’s top priorities.

In a letter to PM Khan made public on Monday, the Asia Director of the Human Rights Watch, Brad Adams, urged the government to begin by reversing abusive laws and policies and demonstrating genuine commitment to the rule of law and equal justice.

In the letter, Human Rights Watch urged the Pakistan government to take concrete steps to protect fundamental civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in six key areas.

“These are freedom of expression and attacks on civil society; freedom of religion and belief; violence against women and girls; access to education; restoring moratorium on death penalty; and terrorism and counter-terrorism abuses.

“Imran Khan has an important opportunity to create a rights-respecting government that abides by the rule of law and restores the public faith in democratic institutions. It is crucial for Pakistan’s development for the government to actively carry out human rights agenda,” the rights watchdog said.

It said that a climate of fear impeded media coverage of abuses both by government security forces and militant groups. Journalists increasingly practice self-censorship after numerous attacks by militant groups, including the Taliban, in retaliation for criticism, particularly around their extremist diktats.

Media outlets remain under pressure from the authorities to avoid reporting on several issues, including criticism of government institutions and the judiciary.

“The PTI has been a strong proponent of free expression, including on social media, to criticise state policy and press for change. An independent media is key to robust dialogue that reflects public concerns.

Human Rights Watch hopes that the PTI government will foster a culture of political tolerance for media criticism,” the HRW said.

It urged the Pakistan government to amend the blasphemy law, as a first step towards its repeal.

In the past two years, it said, Pakistan had witnessed an increase in blasphemy-related violence while the government continued to encourage discriminatory persecution and other forms of discrimination against vulnerable groups by failing to repeal discriminatory laws and using religious rhetoric, inciting hatred against minorities.

The rights watchdog urged the prime minister to take steps to implement legislation against domestic violence, create and implement a comprehensive national action plan to end child marriages, and take measures to improve investigation and prosecution of cases of “honour” killing and acid attack.