The Asian Age – Army still rules Pakistan, Imran Khan propped up by them: V K Singh

India is adopting a ‘wait and watch’ approach after the installation of a new government in Pakistan, the MoS for external affairs said.

New Delhi – India, 17 September 2018. Union minister V K Singh said Monday the army still rules Pakistan despite the election of Imran Khan as the new prime minister, adding that it remains to be seen whether “the person” will be able to bring about a change.

India is adopting a “wait and watch” approach after the installation of a new government in Pakistan, the Minister of State for External Affairs told reporters.

Responding to a question on incidents of infiltration at the border after the change of government in Pakistan, he said, “Did you all expect a change? I don’t know.

After all, the person has been propped up by the (Pakistan) army. The army still rules. So, let’s wait and watch how things go, whether the person remains under army control or doesn’t remain under its control.”

He did not refer to Khan by name

Dialogue with Pakistan can happen only if the environment is “conducive” for talks, the minister added on the sidelines of the opening of a two-day conference, Smart Border Management, organised by FICCI.

“India’s policy is very clear. Dialogue can happen only when the environment is conducive,” Singh said when asked whether there have been any attempts from Pakistan to initiate further dialogue with India.

Referring to reports of proposals to open the Kartarpur border crossing for Sikh pilgrims, Singh said India has “not received any proposal” from Pakistan to open the route.

“Nothing has come from the government’s (Pakistan) side. This issue has been going on for a very long time. If anything comes about we will let you know,” he said.

Earlier, addressing the gathering, Singh said India’s border is unique and therefore “one solution” cannot be devised to make it more secure.

“From plains to deserts and mountains and other terrains, one kind of solution cannot be applied to our border and the variety of the terrain has to be factored in while designing any solutions for making the border security more robust and smart,” he said.

The gathering included defence officials and experts, business leaders and a group of ‘sarpanches’ from villages near the border. A report on smart border management prepared by FICCI along with BDO India was released on the occasion.

The Tribune – Face-off between cops, hardliners in Faridkot

Tribune News Service

Faridkot – Panjab – India, 16 September 2018. Tension prevailed in the town and the adjoining Kotkapura on Sunday after Sikh hardliners, sitting on a dharna at Bargari, announced that they would not allow the Akalis to hold the rally.

Though the police had put up nakas at all entry and exit points of the town and restrained Sikh activists at Gurdwara Mai Godri on the Kotkapura-Faridkot road, situated at the distance of about 6 km from the rally venue, nearly 100 activists, brandishing swords and other weapons, managed to enter the town.

At 2 pm, the hardliners started a march towards the rally venue, but a heavy police force deployed near city police station stopped them.

Besides seeking passage to the rally, the hardliners asked the police to release four of their members. During this struggle with the police, some hardliners ran towards the rally venue and allegedly damaged two vehicles of SAD workers, parked near the railway station.

Party chief Sukhbir Badal later alleged that the police made no serious effort to stop the radicals despite the High Court orders to maintain law and order. In the name of controlling these elements, the police blocked the main roads to harass SAD workers so that they could not reach the venue, he alleged.

Rajbachan Singh Sidhu, SSP, denied the allegations, saying maintaining law and order was their top priority. Around 20 companies of police were deployed in the town, he said.

Manjinder Singh, sarpanch of Mughal Chak village in Tarn Taran, demanded a criminal case against radical leaders, including Daduwal, for a murderous attack on him and other SAD supporters and for damaging their vehicles.

Vehicles collide

Muktsar: Some vehicles in Sukhbir’s cavalcade collided at a security check point at Maan Singh Wala village on the Muktsar-Sadiq-Faridkot road on Sunday. There was no loss apart from minor damage to vehicles. Sukhbir was leaving for the Faridkot rally when the mishap occurred.

Cops failed to rein in radicals: Sukhbir Badal

Party chief Sukhbir Badal later alleged that the police made no serious effort to stop the radicals despite the High Court orders to maintain law and order. In the name of controlling these elements, the police blocked the main roads to harass SAD workers so that they could not reach the venue, he alleged.

London Trafalgar Square and Gent Dampoort

London Trafalgar Square
2020 Referendum
12 August 2018

Small anti Referendum demo

Anti-referendum – pro Modi

Our Limburg brother

Mr Lodi from Slough and friends

A clear message …

Gent Dampoort
15 August 2018

New tunnel underneath the railway for cyclists and pedestrians

To see all my pictures:

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

Sikh Federation UK – 31 year old Scot being treated as second class citizen as his SNP MP snubbed by new Foreign Secretary and British Deputy High Commissioner from Punjab

Sikh Convention to demand UK Government take ‘extreme action’ promised against Indian authorities to secure release of 31 year old Scot

London – UK, 14 September 2018. A three day Sikh convention expected to attract in excess of 10,000 Sikhs begins today at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Willenhall in the West Midlands.

The 35th Annual International Sikh Convention is organised by the Sikh Federation (UK), often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.

On Sunday, the final day of the Convention, those present will hear from Sikh representatives from over 15 countries on a range of issues.

Over 200 UK Gurdwaras will be represented on Sunday when five resolutions are expected to be unanimously passed and three major announcements made.

One of the resolutions relates to the UK Government taking all steps necessary to secure the immediate release of Jagtar Singh Johal.

On 4 November it will mark a year since a sack was put over Jagtar’s head while he was out shopping with his newly wed wife and he was bundled into a van.

Three days of third degree torture immediately followed resulting in him being unable to walk and as police officers threatened to pour kerosene over him and burn him alive or execute him in a fake encounter.

Within days of his abduction the UK Government promised in Parliament that extreme action would be taken against the Indian authorities for the mistreatment of the Scot from Dumbarton who was simply in India to get married.

Jagtar has now been in prison for over 300 days on trumped up charges with no evidence yet presented in court despite over 50 appearances.

The resolution at the Convention will urge the UK Government to take all necessary steps working with other governments and those at the United Nations to secure Jagtar’s immediate release so he can be reunited with his family in Dumbarton.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Andrew Ayre was asked to meet Sikh representatives on 25 September when he visits the UK where Jagtar’s case along with other issues relevant to Sikhs and the Punjab will be discussed.

Andrew Ayre has also been pressured by the Sikh Federation (UK) so he has now agreed to meet with Jagtar’s elder brother Gurpreet Singh Johal during his visit to the UK.

The two local MPs – Eddie Hughes, the Conservative MP for Walsall North who met the Foreign Secretary about Jagtar’s case and Valerie Vaz, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons will also be speaking about the widespread support of MPs for Jagtar being reunited with his family as soon as possible.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

“Jagtar’s family has been patiently waiting for the UK Government to take the extreme action against India promised in Parliament. No country should be allowed to treat British citizens in this way.”

“The Punjab authorities appear to have no evidence against Jagtar and he must be released without delay. Our fear is British pressure is falling on deaf ears and Jagtar could be in prison for 2-3 wasted years despite being innocent.”

“We were however shocked to hear this morning that the British Deputy High Commissioner from Chandigarh who will be visiting the UK later this month has not arranged to meet Jagtar’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes who we spoke to earlier today.”

“We are amazed the UK diplomat is happy to meet Indian politicians and officials to discuss Jagtar’s case, but he has failed to reach out to his MP when he visits the UK.”

“Boris Johnson after repeated challenge eventually agreed in Parliamentary debate to meet Martin Docherty-Hughes. However, since his resignation Jeremey Hunt the new Foreign Secretary has to date failed to honour this commitment or meet the family.”

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Dawn – Pakistan, UK reach agreement on repatriation of ‘looted wealth’

Inamullah Khattak

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 17 September 2018. Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem and British Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday jointly announced a justice and accountability agreement between the UK and Pakistan aimed at repatriating “the looted wealth of the country”.

The agreement, which the duo insisted will not target individuals but is a broader agreement between the two governments to collaborate for the elimination of a variety of crimes, was arrived at during the British home secretary’s official visit to Islamabad.

“The aim of this agreement is to bring back the looted wealth of the country,” Shahzad Akbar, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, said, adding: “The agreement on exchange of convicted personnel will also be renewed”.

Javid expressed the British government’s desire for mutual cooperation with Pakistan in defence, regional security and efforts against terrorism and extremism, the latter two of which, he said, are a common threat for the global community.

“The United Kingdom will continue to help Islamabad,” Javid assured while acknowledging that Pakistan has made “a lot of sacrifices” in the global war against terrorism.

He described Pakistan as a “trustworthy friend of the UK” and said that eliminating corruption is a priority for both the countries.

Foreign minister wants expansion in Pakistan-UK ties

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who also met Javid at the Foreign Office, had stressed the need for expansion in cooperation between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

The two had discussed various aspects of regional and bilateral cooperation, particularly regional security, counter-terrorism, organised crime, migration, human trafficking, money laundering and asset recovery.

Qureshi also emphasised the need to translate existing ties into a tangible and multi-faceted strategic partnership.

He also formally acknowledged the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) contributions towards the development of various socio-economic sectors in Pakistan.

The British home secretary, in return, conveyed his government’s desire to support and work closely with the new government in all areas of mutual interest.

The two countries closely cooperate under the institutional framework of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue