The Indian Express – ‘Will never forget’: In tense times, Valley shows gratitude to Sikhs

Kashmiris respond to community’s efforts to help students amid tension after Pulwama attack by offering free lodging, education, legal services.

Dar Ovais

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 22 February 2019. From free legal services to hotel lodging and education, from free medical help to discount on clothes for Sikhs, the Valley has decided to show its gratitude to the community for the help rendered by volunteers of Khalsa Aid, an international not-for-profit relief organisation, and some gurdwaras in Mohali to the Kashmiri students returning home following the Pulwama terror attack.

Peerzada Hussain, owner of a coaching centre at Anantnag in south Kashmir, said he was inspired by this outpouring of generosity to provide free coaching classes to the students from Sikh community.

“Everyone is happy here after what they did in Mohali or Jammu. We will never forget this,” said Hussain, adding they are minority in Kashmir. “We must make them feel that they are part of us.”

Kashmiris responded to this gesture by flooding the social media with offers for the Sikhs and other minority communities in the Valley. Dr Shakeel Ahmad, who runs a clinic at Hyderpora in Srinagar, said this outpouring of help shows that we should not view each other through the prism of religion.

“This community demonstrated this quality. They provided shelter to young Kashmiris who were being harassed for no reason,” he said, adding that issues cannot be resolved by threatening innocents.

Echoing his views, Majeed Mir, who runs a shop in Sopore town of Baramulla district, offered 30 per cent discount on all cloth items to the members of the Sikh community till April. “Humanity is above religion. Innocent students were fleeing in fear but these people helped them and ensured their safety.”

Advocate Hilal Ahmad Dar from Srinagar, who has decided to provide free legal assistance to minority communities in the Valley, said he searched the net and found that the Khalsa Aid was providing humanitarian assistance to needy people in almost 45 countries.

“They have set an example of true brotherhood. I introspected about how I could help them and since I am a lawyer, I decided to provide free legal assistance,” said Hilal.

Mushtaq Ayub, owner of Srinagar-based Al-Azizia hotel, has pledged free accommodation to any Sikh visiting his hotel. He said, “I welcome the bravehearts to my hotel anytime. They can come and stay here without any charges.”

Hundreds of Kashmiri students took shelter in Mohali after they were targeted by violent mobs and told to leave their colleges and homes in Dehradun and other parts of the country.

Gurdwara Shaheedan at Sohana in Mohali was the first to open its doors to the fleeing students who arrived at a shelter home arranged by Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Organisation last week. Later, volunteers of the Khalsa Aid arranged vehicles and escorted them to safety. – The Akal Takht jathedar announces to constitute international committee of Sikh scholars

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 23 February 2019. Addressing a gathering of representatives of about 100 Sikh organizations at Sri Anandpur Sahib on 22 February, the SGPC appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar announced to constitute an international coordination committee of Sikh scholars and intellectuals for the uplifting of Sikhs at social, religious, economic and intellectual levels.

This coordination committee will coordinate the different Sikh bodies of the world.

“Constitution of this type of committee is the need of the hour to inculcate pride and a feeling of nationhood among the Sikh community” Giani Harpreet Singh said while adding that a Panthik agenda would be prepared soon to uplift the community at all levels.

Gent: Pro refugee demonstration – Gentbrugse Meersen

Demonstration against Belgium’s asylum policy
02 February 2019

Botermarkt – The voice of the ‘paperless’


Botermarkt – Eén enkele oplossing: Regularisatie
One solution only: Regularisation

I do not remember the text on the green banner

Gentbrugse Meersen
05 February 2019

Koningsdonkstraat – new cobblestones and cycle paths
We liked the funny man !

Old twisted trees

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Pakistan Observer – Pulwama attack reaction against Indian oppression in Held Kashmir: Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 23 February 2019. Pro-Khalistan group ‘Sikhs For Justice’ (SFJ) which is spearheading the secessionist Referendum 2020 campaign has stated that attack on the Indian forces in the held Kashmir is a reaction by the innocent Kashmiris against atrocities being committed by the occupying Indian forces.

It is their legitimate right to resist foreign occupation, says a press statement issues from SFJ international headquarters here Friday. On February 14th, a convoy of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was attacked in Pulwama, Kashmir killing 40 soldiers and wounding many others.

Since 1990, invoking Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), India continues to declare the region of Kashmir under its control as ‘disturbed area’ marred with armed conflict and militancy.

As per Geneva Convention of August 1949 and Additional Protocols I and II to the Convention which govern the conduct of parties to an armed conflict of domestic or international nature, all military personnel, equipment, bases, and buildings used as fortifications, whether designed as such or used by the military ad hoc, are legitimate targets.

Challenging India’s narrative that attack on CRPF in Pulwama is an act of terrorism, SFJ’s legal advisor attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated, ‘Under international law, during an armed conflict an act is only regarded as crime or terrorism when it targets civilians or other categories protected in UN Conventions, such as places of worship, schools and hospitals, whereas armed personnel of either party to the conflict are regarded as ‘legitimate targets’.

‘It is an incontrovertible fact that Indian occupied Kashmir is a designated area of conflict and attack in Pulwama was carried out against soldiers of an armed force, CRPF which is deployed to carry out armed operation in Kashmir’, added attorney Pannun.

The Hindu – Tampering with Article 370, Article 35A will render instrument of accession of J&K null and void

“Instrument of accession is contingent on Article 370 which is inextricably linked to Article 35A,” the former Chief Minister said.

Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar – Jammu & Kashmir – India, 24 February 2019. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on 24 February 2019 said any tinkering with Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution, which provide special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will render null and void the State’s Instrument of Accession with India.

“Article 370 is the constitutional connection between J&K & the Indian Union. The ‘Instrument of Accession’ is contingent on Article 370 which is inextricably linked to Article 35A. Any tampering will render Treaty of Accession null & void,” Ms. Mufti said in a series of tweets.

She said Kashmir Valley is rife with speculation about the status of Article 35A.

“Before taking a decision, GOI (Government of India) must consider that J&K was the only Muslim-majority State that chose a secular India over Pakistan during partition,” she added.

Ms. Mufti cautioned that Kashmiris should not be blamed for the developments if the special provision was scrapped. “Those frothing at the mouth & calling for its removal shouldn’t blame Kashmiris for the developments that will follow such a hare-brained decision,” she said.