The News – Pakistan courageously highlighted Kashmir dispute at UNGA: Gilani

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 30 September 2018. All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Syed Ali Gilani has said that Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi has courageously highlighted the Kashmir dispute at the United Nations General Assembly and proved to be a friend and well-wisher of Kashmir.

Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar said that Shah Mehmood Qureshi had once again reiterated Pakistan’s stance that unless the core issue of Kashmir was resolved as per its historical perspective and according to the wishes of Kashmir, dance of death and destruction will have no end.

Reacting to the UNGA speech by Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, Syed Ali Gilani said that it was full of lies, deceit, arrogance and persistent denial of basic and ground realities.

He said, “We are neither surprised nor did we expect anything substantial to be delivered there. Because most people under the toxic influence of power and might, fail to accept truth.”

He said that it was due to the arrogant mindset that India preferred to be in denial mode since the tragedy of Kashmir was born in 1947. Claiming to be the largest democracy with multi cultural society and a fast growing economic hub, it can’t dare to accept the bare and internationally recognized issue only because they believe that they can crush the genuine people’s movement with their military might.

Gilani said lies even repeated for centuries and by the whole world they still remain lies.

The APHC Chairman said that it was expected from India to be in the cocoon of its denial, but ‘we were really surprised that this was deviation from the universally accepted and recognized issue was softly and quietly tolerated, without causing any repels in the conscious and commitment of those sitting and listening in this august house’.

“They very well knew that 18 resolutions presently lying in this office clearly and loudly contradict the gentle lady delivering the sermon on the podium. By doing so, India has not only once again rubbed salt on our wounds, but has put a big question mark on the authenticity and effectiveness of this world forum whose relevance and authority has already faded from past few decades,” Syed Ali Gilani added.

Speaking on the India-Pakistan tension, he said non-resolution of Kashmir is bone of contention between the two nuclear powers and if UN fails to play its role in resolving the grave human issue not only India-Pakistan subcontinent but global peace and stability is under sever threat.

Highlighting the need for a peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute, he said the coercive measures, killings, detentions and suppression will yield nothing, instead will lead to devastation.

Terming down the unrealistic and arrogant approach of Indian leadership, Gilani said, “Suppression and oppression won’t deter us from pursuing our mission of right to self-determination.”

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/374992-pakistan-courageously-highlighted-kashmir-dispute-at-unga-gilani

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Sikh24.com – Akali parliamentarian Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa resigns from all party positions

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 September 2018. In an unprecedented move, the stalwart Akali leader and parliamentarian S Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has resigned from all the positions in Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Dhindsa’s decision has come just a week before his party’s rally in Patiala slated for October 7.

Although Dhindsa has excused that he has resigned due to his deteriorating health but a different speculation is being made about his move as he was also observed absent during the recent anti-repression rally at Faridkot.

Sikh24 has learnt that he has expressed inability to work as a general secretary or a core committee member of Shiromani Akali Dal due to his deteriorating health in the resignation sent to his party president Sukhbir Badal.

It is pertinent to note here that Dhindsa has resigned at a time when the SAD (Badal) has gotten venue for holding its anti-repression rally in Patiala after long struggle.

The Congress led Punjab government headed by Captain Amarinder Singh had tried its best to deny permission to SAD (Badal) to hold rally in Patiala but at last the SAD was given permission to hold rally at a location 10 Kilometers away from Patiala.

On September 2, Dhindsa had openly opposed Badal for sidelining the stalwart Akali leaders while suggesting him to give preference to the veteran Akali leaders. He had also sought removal of Giani Gurbachan Singh from the temporal post of Sikhism.

https://www.sikh24.com/2018/09/29/akali-parliamentarian-sukhdev-singh-dhindsa-resigns-from-all-party-positions/#.W7DyVPZoTIU

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Man in Blue

Huffington Post – British Sikh activists lead call for a homeland in India amid tension with police

They are angry at police raids linking the community to “terrorist” activity.

Amardeep Bassey

It is the nerve centre of a separatist movement which for more than 30 years has campaigned to destabilise the world’s biggest democracy*.

Because here in the West Midlands, champions of an independent Sikh homeland are campaigning for a new home, thousands of miles away in northern India.

Indeed, decisions made behind closed doors in Birmingham have the potential to affect the future of millions of Sikhs worldwide. But they have also sparked tensions with the police.

Recently, local officers conducted raids on homes around Birmingham they say have links to “terrorist activity”, and now hundreds of Sikhs are expected to protest today outside the Tory party conference which takes place in the city this week.

Calls for an independent Sikh homeland, Khalistan (Land of the Pure), stretch back to the days of partition in 1947, when the Punjab was divided between India and the then newly created Pakistan.

“The Muslims got Pakistan including half of Punjab and the Hindus were given all of India but Sikhs were left homeless despite having ruled the region for decades before the British invaded,” explains Raj Mann of the Leicester Sikh Alliance.

The armed struggle for Khalistan began in earnest in 1984 when the Indian army launched an assault on the Sikhs’ holiest shrine the Golden Temple in Amritsar in Punjab, India, in an attempt to flush out disaffected Sikhs who accused India of persecution.

Months later, the then-prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Sikh bodyguards, sparking riots across the country which saw thousands of Sikhs killed.

British Sikhs in the West Midlands formed the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), dubbed the “Sikh Sinn Fein”, and Babbar Khalsa International soon after, but both groups were banned under anti-terror laws in 2001.

Home Office officials cited several examples of “Sikh terrorist activity” including Warwickshire hitman Patrick Timlin who was jailed in 1987 after being paid to murder three moderate Sikhs.

Two years earlier, Coventry Sikh Inderjit Reyat was jailed for a bomb blast in Tokyo and later linked to an Air India jumbo bombing over Ireland which killed 329 people.

The spiralling violence in the 1980s and 90s led the then West Midlands Chief Constable Geoffrey Dear to declare that some 2,000 Sikhs in the Birmingham region were supporting terrorist activities in the Punjab.

In more recent years three British Sikhs were jailed for attempting to slit the throat of a retired Indian army general in London in 2012.

However in an unprecedented move, the ban on the ISYF was overturned in 2016 after years of campaigning by groups led by the pro-Sikh independence Sikh Federation.

A spokesman said: “The ban was politically motivated and not backed by any real evidence.

“Overnight we had been labelled terrorists when all we do is peacefully campaign for the UN-given right to self determination and a proper investigation into the killing of thousands of Sikhs across India”.

The Indian authorities brutally crushed the armed uprising in Punjab by the mid 1990s when many Sikh insurgents sought political asylum abroad in the UK and Canada.

Now their children and a new generation of British Sikhs have taken upon the cause using the internet and social media to call for a referendum on Khalistan in 2020.

They include Scottish Sikh Jagtar Johal, currently held in a Punjab jail without trial for nearly a year charged with funding the murders of prominent Hindu politicians in India.

Some Sikhs believe his confessions under torture led to UK anti-terror police investigating “extremist activity in India” and money laundering offences, raiding five addresses linked to Sikh activists last week.

Shamsher Singh, of the National Sikh Youth Federation, whose home was targeted, said: “The raids were at the request of the Indian government and British police are being used to intimidate and harass us.

“The UK is just pandering to India for trade favours”.

*India is big, but is it a democracy ? Man in Blue

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/british-sikh-activists-lead-call-for-a-homeland-in-india_uk_5bae543ee4b0b4d308d2a925

The Hindu – Who is an urban naxal, asks Romila Thapar

New Delhi – India, 30 September 2018. Eminent historian Romila Thapar, who petitioned the Supreme Court against the house arrest of five Left-leaning activists, has asked government to define the phrase “urban naxal”, saying either they do not understand the meaning of the term or the activists like her do not.

Talking on the house arrests of five activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, she said these are the people who are fighting against social injustice.

“We were all born Indians, lived as Indians all our lives. These activists are fighting for good causes and terming them urban naxal is a political move,” she said.

“Do they even know what urban naxal means, first ask the government to define the term urban naxal and then tell us how we fall into this category.

It is very easy to call us urban naxal. And also tell us how we have become urban naxal, either the government does not understand the meaning of urban naxal or we don’t understand the meaning of the term,” Ms. Thapar told PTI.

She was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference held by the petitioners after the Supreme Court judgement on September 28 refused to interfere with the arrest of the five rights activists and declined to appoint a Special Investigation Team to probe their arrests.

The five activists have been under house arrest since 29 August 2018.

Politicians including Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have referred to the five activists as “urban naxals”. Many social media users have enlisted themselves as “urban naxals” in a show of solidarity with the arrested Left-leaning activists as #MeTooUrbanNaxal trended on Twitter.

They countered that the term “urban naxal” was a mere creation of some sections to malign those who have an anti-establishment stance.

Ms Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpande and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala were the petitioners who filed a case in the Supreme Court after the five lawyers, journalists and civil rights activists were arrested across the country on August 28 and charged with abetting acts of terror under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

“Any democratic institution cannot take law into its hands. It has to go through a certain procedure. Arrests are the last step of a probe it is not the first step of an investigation,” Ms Thapar said. “Arbitrary arrests on implausible charges means the police can walk into our homes and arrest us, either without a warrant or a warrant written in a language we don’t understand and then accuse us of activities about which we know nothing.”

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/who-is-an-urban-naxal-asks-romila-thapar/article25088465.ece