Tolo News – Refugees Come Together For Football Tournament in Brussels

Among the players taking part in the “Everyone on the Pitch” tournament are Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Brussel Capital Region – Belgium, 03 September 2018. Refugees from countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have gathered to play together at the “Everyone on the Pitch” football tournament in Brussels.

The event is a Belgian project to foster the integration of people fleeing war-torn countries and help them make new friends through a shared passion for sport.

But on this Brussels pitch, organisers are hoping it will provide more than just good exercise.

This is the “Everyone on the Pitch” football tournament and it brings together people from across the world.

Refugees and asylum seekers from Asia, the Middle East and Africa are facing each other on the field, under the watchful eyes of Belgian referees.

Most are young men in their 20s and come from troubled countries like Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan.

The goal is to offer a response to the refugee crisis in Europe and to the isolation that many newcomers feel after migrating to Europe.

Mohammad Yousfan is a 30-year-old Syrian refugee from Aleppo, he arrived here six years ago and regularly plays soccer in Belgium. He now lives in Ghent, a city an hour away.

“We train twice a week and we do a combination of fitness training and friendly matches,” he says.

“We wanted to give our contribution to this tournament and add to the nice environment. This is also a chance to go out a bit and connect with Belgian people in the tournament.”

The event is backed by Belgian asylum centres, football clubs and associations such as Fedasil (the Belgian Federal Agency for the reception of asylum seekers) and Brussels Football.

Hedeli Sassi is one of the organisers. He’s a former football player and coach from northern Belgium.

“The tournament is one of the possibilities in this project to show to the people that football is bringing people together, that football helps to understand the rules, to have respect for each other, respect for the other teams, for the referee,” he says.

“But (the) most important thing is to give a signal that football is for everyone, it doesn’t matter from where you are or which colour you have, if you’re male or female. There’s a place for everyone on the field.”

Football has a universal power to unite people from far-flung continents and break social, language and cultural barriers.

But 25-year-old Afghan refugee Mohammad Ali Muzafari is already handling the language barrier. He was all alone when he arrived in Belgium, but learning French has helped him socalise and build a new home.

Belgium has already hosted other events of this type this year. The largest was a football tournament for refugees and asylum seekers that took place in the city of Antwerp on World Refugee Day (20 June).

The Tribune – Centre alerts state on efforts to revive Khalistan movement

Ruchika M Khanna, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 02 September 2018. The Union Government has asked the state to be wary of any effort for the resurgence of the pro-Khalistan movement. The Centre’s warning was reportedly conveyed to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh during his meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday.

Intelligence agencies have been on high alert in Punjab after the London declaration by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for Referendum 2020 was held last month. Over the past few months, the Punjab Police have busted terror modules in the state, linked with organisers of the referendum, under an ISI operation code, named “Express”.

Though officially the state government maintained that they discussed various security-related issues and asked the Home Minister to address the concerns regarding Punjab’s internal security issues, sources say that the Centre expressed “serious concerns” over the efforts by the Pakistan’s ISI to revive the secessionist movement in Punjab.

Captain Amarinder also had discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday over national security concerns of Punjab and “hoped for a positive response from the Union Government”.

The Akali Dal, an alliance partner of the BJP, too, has been raising the issue of radical Sikh leaders staging a dharna at Behbal Kalan, who, it claimed, were receiving funds from abroad.

Sources say there have been reports regarding call records of these leaders with radical Sikhs based in Germany, Canada, the US and the UK, which has also set the alarm bells ringing.

The issue of taking back sacrilege probe from the CBI was reportedly not discussed with Rajnath Singh.

Officials present in the meeting confirmed that the CM was initiating “a legal procedural way” to get the cases back so that these could be investigated by the Punjab Police, as declared in the Vidhan Sabha, and as such the matter need not be discussed with the Home minister.

The idiot Indian politicians just cannot imagine that there are people inside and outside India who are very unhappy about the state of India. Because of their lack of empathy with minority groups they blame all protests on Pakistan.
Man in Blue

Gent – Kortrijksepoortstraat – Gurdwara

22 July 2018

Left Tram 1 Wondelgem
Right Tram 1 to Flanders Expo

Tram 1 Wondelgem

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
22 July 2018

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Kortrijksepoortstraat 49
B-9000 Gent – Oost-Vlaanderen

Proud papa with his youngest daughter

Kirtan by the Gurdwara youngsters

A slightly older jatha including Granthi Singh

I messed up the sequence of the pictures
We jumped back to 20 July and will return to August
in due course.
Man in Blue

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

AniNews – Sikh community supplies relief aid to flood victims in Kerala’s Kochi

Kochi – Kerala – India, 02 September 2018. Members of the Sikh community in Kochi supplied food items to victims in Kerala to help them cope up with the aftermath of floods as the situation in the state remained grim.

Sikhs were seen distributing food grains, clothes, and basic relief material to huge number of victims who queued up to get the aid. The volunteers have come from all parts of Maharashtra and Punjab to provide assistance.

We have a team of 36 engineers who are visiting victims’ houses and are helping them reconstruct the affected houses, said a doctor at the camp, Dimple Sethi. Around 200 people are living inside the Gurdwara and we will be providing them with necessities like clothes, utensils and food, said another volunteer, Amarjeet Singh.

Incessant downpours since August 08 had caused the worst floods in a century in the southern state, and hundreds of people have perished in the rising waters and landslides with hundreds of houses washed away and tens of thousands people displaced.

To see the video click on the link below:

Dawn – The US has delivered an object lesson in how not to conduct diplomacy.

Editorial, 03 September 2018. Mere days ahead of a short visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pakistan, the US Department of Defence has announced a permanent aid cut to Pakistan of $300m.

The move has surely been coordinated across the Trump administration and now what remains to be seen is if Secretary Pompeo will try and bully the Pakistani leadership during his visit or if he will be deployed in a more traditional good-cop diplomatic role.

The aid cut-off is not new and has already been factored into budgetary estimates, so perhaps the measure is designed to placate hawks inside the Trump administration.

But it will surely rankle in Pakistan and rightly so: more than the aid, it is the hectoring and aggressive tone of the Trump administration towards Pakistan combined with an apparent disregard for a peace process in Afghanistan that is a problem.

Yet, Pakistan ought to react cautiously and avoid unnecessary public wrangling. The US aid cut-off has come on the heels of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s warm visit to Pakistan in which the latter emphasised its support for Iran and the nuclear deal that the US unilaterally pulled out of.

That could be a factor in the Trump administration’s apparent pique at Pakistan. Moreover, Pakistan is almost sure to shortly turn to international creditors and the US has already indicated a willingness to overtly bring geopolitics into the workings of the IFIs.

But a cautious public reaction can be accompanied by a robust defence in private.

The focus in Afghanistan should be a peace process with the Afghan Taliban, and while Pakistan has consistently expressed an interest in supporting a peace process, it can only do so much in the face of political disarray in Afghanistan and reluctance in the US to engage the Taliban in dialogue.

The US and the Taliban may be locked in a different kind of race now: both are trying to maximise their advantage on the battlefield to win greater concessions from the other side at the dialogue table.

If that is in fact what the US is aiming for, Pakistan can emphasise the role it can play to facilitate a dialogue among the Taliban, the Afghan government and the US.

The longest war in US history will not change dramatically in military terms, but political support for the war in the US can only further deteriorate. President Donald Trump clearly only reluctantly agreed to extend the war in Afghanistan and is reported to be frustrated with the lack of progress that he was promised by his generals.

Secretary Pompeo and US national security and military officials ought to stop pursuing counterproductive strategies and work towards the common international goal of ending the war in Afghanistan and blunting the IS threat.