The Hindu – Pakistan team arrives in India, to visit Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir

Since signing of the Indus Water Treaty, a total of 118 such tours on both the sides have been undertaken.

New Delhi – India, 27 January 2019. A Pakistani delegation arrived in India on January 27 to visit the Chenab river basin in Jammu and Kashmir for inspection, as mandated under the Indus Water Treaty, sources said.

Pakistan’s Indus Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah arrived in Amritsar along with his two advisers, sources said.

“This tour is an obligation imposed on both the countries by the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 between India and Pakistan. Under the treaty, both the commissioners are mandated to inspect sites and works on both the sides of Indus basin in a block of five years,” a senior official said.

Since signing of the treaty, a total of 118 such tours on both the sides have been undertaken.

The last tours of the commission in Pakistan and India were held in July 2013 and September 2014, respectively. No tour could be held in the current five years block, which ends in March 2020.

This tour will be followed by a visit of India’s Indus Commissioner to Pakistan at a mutually convenient date, the official added.

This tour was originally scheduled in October 2018 but was postponed because of local bodies and panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the Indus Water Treaty, waters flowing in three Indus tributaries, the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi, have been allotted to India, while the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan.

The Asian Age – Sidhu, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan are ‘traitors’: RSS leader

RSS leader opined that India doesn’t need Muslim youth like Kasab, but rather like former president Kalam.

New Delhi – India, 29 January 2019. RSS leader Indresh Kumar likened Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, and actors Aamir Khan and Naseeruddin Shah to Rajpur king Jaichand and Najafi Nawab of Bengal Mir Jafar while referring to the trio as ‘traitors.’

Speaking to media after an event on Monday, Kumar opined that India doesn’t need Muslim youth like Ajmal Kasab (lone terrorist caught alive after 26/11 attack),but rather like former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

“India doesn’t need Muslim Youth like Kasab, Yakub, and Ishrat Jahan but rather those who walk on the path shown by Kalam. Those who walk on the path of Kasab will be considered only as traitors,” said Indresh Kumar.

“They may be good actors (Navjot Singh Sidhu, Naseeruddin Shah, and Aamir Khan) but they don’t deserve respect as they are traitors. They are like Mir Jafar and Jaichand,” he added.

Kumar also said that Congress, Left parties, communal religious forces, and few judges are responsible for the delay in Ayodhya case hearing.

“The first reason for the delay in construction of Ram Temple is Congress, second is the left parties, third is the communal religious forces, and the fourth are few judges who are delaying justice.I appeal to the saints and sadhus to sit at dharna outside the Congress office, office of left parties and outside the house of Judges who are delaying the matter,” he added.

The Supreme Court cancelled the hearing in the Ayodhya title suit case, slated for January 29, due to the unavailability of one of the judges, Justice S A Bobde.

The Tribune – Boards told to make Punjabi mandatory

Balwant Garg, Tribune News Service

Faridkot – Panjab – India, 27 January 2019. The state Education Department has written to the chairmen of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to strictly follow the guidelines of the Punjab Learning of Punjabi and other Languages Act, 2008, which makes it mandatory to teach Punjabi as a compulsory subject in schools up to Class X.

The Education Department Director-cum-Director Public Instructions (DPI) (Secondary Education) has written to the chairmen of the ICSE and the CBSE that no board or institution shall award matriculation certificate to any student, unless he has passed the Class X examination in Punjabi subject.

It has been brought into the notice of the department that many schools in the state, affiliated with the ICSE and the CBSE, are not adhering to this provision, wrote the DPI to the ICSE and the CBSE.

Such misconduct and violation warrants penal action under Section 8 of the Act as the Act empowers the state government to not only impose penalties on the defaulting schools but it may also issue directions for disaffiliating the schools with the ICSE and the CBSE, wrote the DPI.

Capelsebrug RET Metro Lines A, B, C

To Capelsebrug
30 December 2018

To Capelsebrug Metro

Capelsebrug RET Metro
30 December 2018

RET Metro station line A, B, C

RET Metro station

Platform for trains to Rotterdam

Platform for trains to eastern suburbs

Metro line B to Schiedam Centre

To see all my pictures:

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

De Volkskrant – Activiste uit Krommenie krijgt vier maanden voor opruiing

Haarlem – Noord-Holland – Nederland, 22 januari 2019. De activiste Joke K. alias Joke Kaviaar moet van de rechtbank in Haarlem viermaanden de cel in wegens opruiing. Dat is twee maanden minder dan het Openbaar Ministerie (OM) tegen haar had geëist.

De 48-jarige vrouw uit Krommenie trekt al geruime tijd ten strijde tegen het in haar ogen falende vreemdelingenbeleid. De rechtbank is het met het OM eens dat de activiste daarin te ver is gegaan. Zij plaatste op haar eigen website teksten als ‘het onschadelijk maken van gans de ministerraad’ en ‘wie gaat er mee op visite bij Gerd Leers?’.

Joke K. zag de strafzaak als ‘politiek proefproces’ dat er uitsluitend is gekomen om haar de mond te snoeren.

De rechtbank vindt dat de activiste ten onrechte een beroep heeft gedaan op de vrijheid van meningsuiting. De vrouw heeft niet alleen geprobeerd de politieke discussie over het asielbeleid aan te zwengelen, maar zij heeft ook opgeroepen tot het plegen van strafbare feiten om zo haar doel te bereiken, aldus de rechters.

De verdediging heeft aangevoerd dat de gewraakte teksten van Joke Kaviaar als politieke satire of overdrijving moeten worden beschouwd. De rechtbank is het daarmee niet eens. Volgens de rechters roept de activiste in haar artikelen serieus en met kracht op tot het plegen van strafbare feiten als vernieling, brandstichting en het plegen van aanslagen.

Dawn – ‘Courtesy phone call’ adds to confusion in Sahiwal killings case

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 29 January 2019. The Counter Terrorism Department has approached the Lahore police for the arrest of its “so-called official” shortly after the lawyer for the family of the Sahiwal firing victims claimed that he had received a threatening call from a senior officer of the CTD.

Lawyer Syed Shahbaz Bukhari, while talking to the media at his office here on Monday, claimed that the “caller” introduced himself as the CTD official and asked him to stand down from the matter. He also played the audio recording of the conversation before the media persons, declaring it a concrete evidence of the CTD’s involvement in hurling serious threats at him.

Mr Bukhari said he had also provided the audio recording of the “CTD officer” to the Joint Investigation Team headed by additional IG Police Ijaz Hussain Shah. He requested the JIT to make it part of the investigation as evidence to proceed against the officers according to the law.

However, the matter took a surprise turn later in the day when the CTD investigated the issue and got data of the “caller” and traced him as a practicing medic Dr Hamayun Taimoor. The CTD also obtained his Computerised National Identity Card and the record of SIM he had used to make the audio call which was recorded by the lawyer.

“Dr Taimoor is resident of Askari Complex of Cantonment Board Lahore and he has nothing to do with the CTD,” says a senior CTD official.

Lawyer for victims’ family claims he received threatening call from a senior officer of CTD which traces ‘caller’ as practising doctor.

Requesting anonymity, he said that apparently it seemed that the lawyer for the victims’ family wanted to get some benefits like security by accusing the CTD of resorting to such tactics. He said the CTD had investigated the matter and found out that the caller was a close friend of Advocate Bukhari.

Dr Taimoor also later confirmed to Dawn that he knew the lawyer and his brother very well. “I am practicing doctor and running a clinic in Gulberg,” he said, adding that he had just made a ‘courtesy call’ to Mr Bukhari being his friend.

He made it clear that he was not the officer of the CTD. However, he said he had done some “assignments” with the CTD in the past, but refused to unveil the nature of the assignments.

“I have neither hurled threats at the lawyer for the Sahiwal victims’ family nor have I ever thought of this,” he said, showing his utter displeasure over the act of Mr Bukhari of recording his conversation and making it public.

“It was absolutely a private conversation of two friends and Shahbaz Bukhari breached my trust by using it for his motives,” said Dr Taimoor.

Earlier, during the media briefing, Mr Bukhari levelled serious charges of life threats to him and his clients by playing the audio recording of the call he received on his mobile phone.

“The CTD officer made a call on my cell phone, hurled threats at me and suggested that the agencies wanted me to stand down from the matter (case he was pursuing) in the wake of the Sahiwal incident,” he said.

The ‘officer’ (on other side of the call) was heard suggesting him (lawyer) to stay away from the matter, according to the audio recording. The ‘officer’ further informed the lawyer that intelligence agencies were not happy with the way the Sahiwal incident was being highlighted.

According to the audio recording, the caller said he belonged to the CTD and was giving him (the lawyer) suggestions as a brother. The ‘officer’ further conveyed to the lawyer on phone that the agencies wanted to settle the matter as enough had been highlighted pertaining to the Sahiwal incident.

“I would appeal to the higher authorities for immediate provision of security to me and the family of Khalil killed in the incident to avoid any untoward happening,” said Mr Bukhari.

In another development, Dunya News quoted Khalil’s brother Jaleel as saying that Mr Bukhari was no more their lawyer.

When contacted, the lawyer said Mr Jaleel had not contacted him personally in this regard.

Meanwhile, only two eyewitnesses turned up at the Yousafwala police station on Monday to record their statements with the JIT in the case.

BBC News – Taliban talks: Will negotiations lead to peace in Afghanistan?

The “significant progress” said to have been made during six days of talks between US officials and the Afghan Taliban suggests that both sides are serious about trying to find a peaceful solution to a 17-year conflict that has scarred Afghanistan.

But with the Taliban currently refusing to hold direct talks with Afghan officials, and negotiations relating to “unsolved matters” still to continue, what has actually been agreed during the meetings in Qatar?

Secunder Kermani, the BBC’s Afghanistan correspondent, and senior Afghan journalist Sami Yousafzai, look at what we know so far about the talks, and what it could mean for the future of the country and the foreign forces operating there.

How significant were the talks?

Both the Taliban and US officials have said “progress” was made in the latest set of talks in Qatar, and despite continuing violence on the ground in Afghanistan, there seems to be a growing momentum to the peace negotiations.

Leading analyst Ahmed Rashid told the BBC the talks were “enormously significant” and that “we’ve never been as close… to an end to the civil war in Afghanistan”.

The talks lasted for six days, longer than any of the other previous set of discussions that have been held during recent months.

In the middle of the talks last week, the Taliban announced one of the group’s founding members, Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader, would be appointed the new head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, after recently being released from detention by Pakistani authorities.

Mr Rashid said Mullah Barader “had a record of wanting peace and stability” and could help persuade grassroots members to accept any deal that is reached.

What was discussed?

The “progress” made seems to relate to two key issues:

When will American-led forces be withdrawn from Afghanistan?

A commitment from the Taliban that the group will not allow international jihadist groups like al-Qaeda to use the country as a base in the future.

A senior Taliban official who attended the talks told the BBC that both sides had agreed to form two committees to draw up detailed plans on how to implement agreements in principle on these topics.

The Taliban leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the committees would “identify routes for the withdrawal, and how much time is needed. We suggested six months, but are flexible”.

He said the committees would also produce concrete proposals on how the Taliban can sever any links with al-Qaeda, and would start work within the next week. The Taliban source added that another meeting with the US would likely take place in early February.

Another source in the Taliban told the BBC that once an agreement had been drawn up, they would attempt to get other countries or international organisations to act as guarantors for it.

What about a ceasefire?

Both sides have said further talks are necessary to resolve outstanding issues.

What remains unclear is how a ceasefire fits into current discussions. The Taliban position seems to be one that can only be declared once a withdrawal date for international forces has been agreed.

A separate high ranking Taliban official suggested that the group was nervous about agreeing to a ceasefire before having established a firm settlement, as it could be difficult to convince grassroots fighters to take up arms again, after having laid them down.

The other crucial issue is when the Taliban will agree to begin talking directly to the Afghan government. The Taliban official said the “committees” due to be established would also produce recommendations on this.

So far, the insurgents have only engaged with the US, dismissing the administration of President Ashraf Ghani as “puppets.”

What’s the Afghan government’s view?

In pointed comments at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland earlier this week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said 45,000 members of the Afghan security forces had lost their lives since he took office in 2014.

“It shows who is doing the fighting,” he said.

When asked about the progress of talks in Qatar, President Ghani responded tersely that the aim of the meetings was “to bring the Afghan government and the Taliban into face-to-face discussions and negotiations, then the larger issues of the US presence and other international issues will be addressed”.

Counting the cost of Trump’s air war in Afghanistan

Many analysts have interpreted those comments as revealing a concern amongst Afghan authorities that they are being excluded from the discussions amidst the rush to bring the conflict to an end. US President Donald Trump is believed to be growing increasingly frustrated by the continued US presence in the country.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation who has led talks for the American side, seemed aware of these concerns when he tweeted he was travelling to Kabul to brief President Ghani and said that any deal “must include an intra-Afghan dialogue”.

The discussions between the Afghan government and the Taliban are likely to be even more complicated and delicate than the discussions that have been held so far.

They would have to include agreements on the role of women’s rights and democracy in an Afghanistan where the ultra-conservative Taliban are a significant part of the political mainstream.

What happened in previous peace talks?

Previous attempts at peace have failed in their early stages.

In 2015, talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban in Pakistan broke down after news emerged of the death of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, with whose authority the Taliban team was supposedly meeting.

Whilst in 2013, talks in Qatar were cancelled when the then Afghan President Hamid Karzai was angered by the presence of a Taliban flag at the group’s offices in Qatar, and felt his authority was being undermined. – SIT summons five killer cops including former SSP Charanjit Sharma; asked to appear for questioning on 29 January 2019.

Sikh24 Editors

Faridkot – Panjab – India, 27 January 2019. On 25 January, the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Congress led Punjab government to probe sacrilege cases reportedly issued summons to the former Moga SSP Charanjit Sharma and four other police officials asking them to appear on January 29.

The move came in an immediate response to the High Court’s verdict rejecting the petitions challenging the SIT by Killer cops on 25 January 2019.

Sharing the development with media, SIT head IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said that the SIT has summoned these police officers for questioning as they are prime suspects in these incidents. He added that the SIT has questioned more than 200 suspects and witnesses in Kotkapura and Behbal Klan incidents.

IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh further informed that as soon as the questioning of these police cops is completed, the SIT will file challan in the judicial court of Faridkot under Section 173 of the CrPC without any delay.

It may be recalled here that the Punjab & Haryana High Court had rejected the petitions challenging the SIT and seeking CBI probe into the sacrilege incidents and police firing incidents of Kotkapura and Behbal Klan on January 25.

The Court had also approved the legitimacy of Justice Ranjit Singh Commission constituted by the Congress led Punjab government for investigating these cases.

Kralingse Veer – Guru Nanak Gurdwara – To Capelsebrug

Langar, Cha, Pakore
30 December 2018

Theodorus Singh Teekgur

Jarnail Singh – Harjinder Singh

Harjinder Singh being offered more goodies

Divan Hall

Guru Nanak Gurdwara
Ottergracht 6
3064 LN Rotterdam
Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands

To Capelsebrug
30 December 2018

Leaving Rotterdam – Kralingseveer
Entering Capelle aan den IJssel

To Capelsebrug Metro

To see all my pictures:

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

American Sikh Council – Save Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara from the modernizing brigade!

Kartarpur Sahib in the last 30 days has seen intense construction activity based on the master plan that the Pakistan government has promised to implement as part of the ‘Kartarpur Corridor’ agreement with its neighboring country on the East.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended an olive branch to Sikhs in East Punjab and the diaspora, to break the ice and change the vitiated atmosphere of the past. All governments talk of peace but rarely do politicians act upon realistic initiatives which can bring about long term change and amity.

PM Imran Khan must be thanked again for his sagacity to open the doors to Kartarpur Sahib and other historic Sikh gurdwaras across Pakistan with more ease.

Now that there seems to be sea change in the relgio-political atmosphere, Sikh businessmen with deep pockets from the UK, US and other places seem to be descending upon Kartarpur Sahib in droves hoping to cash in on the influx of visiting Sikhs from everywhere. This is the last thing that the Sikhs need!

It is understandable that the Pakistan government is trying to find various cooperative ways to move the needle forward to promote religious tourism but it is critical, that in all the excitement the most important element should not be lost; i.e., that the complete preservation of Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara complex and the surrounding environment needs to be kept in its pristine state.

Sikhs want to see, touch and feel the holy ground as it was 500 years ago so that it touches the soul with indescribable feelings of multiple emotions and recharges the Sikh spirit.

That simply cannot happen with a modernized upgraded version of the five centuries old deeply religious site which tugs at the heart of every Sikh.

There are nearly 200 historic gurdwaras currently in Pakistan and most in need of serious repair and many are either abandoned and/or being used as offices/homes by squatters. Most of the gurdwaras are owned by the Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board and operated by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee.

In the recent days well-wishers of the ‘panth’ have started an online petition, which has already garnered over 8,800 signatures but we have to continue to get as many more as possible.

Sikhs everywhere can do the following:

Keep up the support going by signing the above petition.

Have every organization across the diaspora send a request to the Prime Minister of Pakistan via registered letter(s) – His Excellency Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan, and the email is . The petition contains the overall suggestions that can be used to send the letter(s).

All the historic Gurdwaras are being torn down and gaudy marble laced buildings are replacing and completely destroying precious living history of the Sikh Faith with the original physical structures, the trees, the immediate landscape is being purposely destroyed by the ‘powers to be’ with the help of their sinister proxies, who are primarily ‘kar-sewa gangs’ prevalent in East Punjab.

Even the SGPC and DGPC, is hand in glove in destroying any vestiges of old history relating to the Sikh Gurus and other important historical figures, all in the name of saving and beautifying these historic gurdwaras.

It will be a travesty if the same heart-breaking ultra large marbleized complexes are constructed in West Punjab, because it goes against the grain of everything that Guru Baba Nanak stood for in his lifetime – namely, simplicity!

The American Sikh Council (ASC) sincerely appeals and requests the Pakistan government to make sure that the entire Kartarpur Gurdwara complex is ‘maintained in its present state’, without adding anything new and/or changing the original architecture in any shape or form.

Any changes and/or additions to accommodate visitors from lodging to restrooms and more must be done at a distance, i.e., completely outside the village of Kartarpur, and outside the 100 plus acres of land/forest areas around the river Ravi that belonged to Guru Sahibji, while retaining as much of its originality as possible, to be preserved for future generations.

ASC reiterates that Sikhs everywhere yearn to visit the Kartarpur Sahib and see the fields that our wondrous ‘Guru’ tilled with his own hands, the place where he lived, the trees he sat under and feel and touch their forehead on the same dusty soil that our ‘Guru’ walked on!

The American Sikh Council (ASC) again thanks the Prime Minister Khan and his government for opening the Kartarpur corridor and putting in so much effort in planning this unique peacebuilding concept.

The American Sikh Council (ASC) strongly supports every effort to maintain and preserve the original integrity of all the nearly 200 historic Gurdwaras, including the Kartapur Sahib complex across Pakistan.