The Asian Age – Masood Azhar’s son, brother among 44 JeM men detained in Pakistan

Interior ministry secretary Azam Suleman Khan said a dossier shared by India with Pakistan last week also contained names of Raoof and Hamad.

New Delhi/Islamabad – 06 March 2019. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar’s son and brother were among 44 members of the banned militant outfits taken into “preventive detention”, Pakistan said on Tuesday, an action that coincided with India’s assertion that it will have “all options” available in case there is another cross-border terror attack.

Doubting Islamabad’s sincerity, Indian sources said that the Pakistani government’s objective, at the moment, is simply to mislead the international community into believing that it is taking steps to counter terror.

“We will not allow them to do this. Our effort and focus is to reach out to all members of the UN Security Council to explain Pakistan’s ploy,” a source added.

Pakistani interior ministry said, “It was decided (at a meeting) to speed up action against all proscribed groups. In compliance, 44 under observation members of proscribed organisations, including Mufti Adbul Raoof and Hamad Azhar, have been taken in preventive detention for investigation.” Hamad is the son of Masood Azhar while Raoof is his brother.

Interior ministry secretary Azam Suleman Khan said a dossier shared by India with Pakistan last week also contained names of Raoof and Hamad.

“It does not mean that action is being taken against only those individuals who are mentioned in the dossier,” he added, amid mounting pressure from the global community on Pakistan to rein in terror groups operating on its soil.

He said that the Pakistani government has demanded evidence against the said individuals through the foreign office as action will be taken against them if evidence is found during investigations. “In case we don’t find any evidence against them we will release them,” he said.

The Pakistani official, however, claimed the action taken on Tuesday was under any pressure and claimed that action would be taken against all the proscribed organisations under the National Action Plan.

Indian government sources said that New Delhi would not ease the “maximum diplomatic pressure” it has built on Pakistan until Islamabad takes concrete action against terrorists operating from its soil or territory controlled by it.

Officials said that New Delhi’s counter-terror strikes in Balakot were intended to demonstrate the “capacity and will” to act against the terror network in Pakistan.

They said the action against the JeM terrorist training camp in Balakot was “over” and emphasised that India’s aim is to force Pakistan to take “demonstrable” action against terror groups.

Adding that the swift release of earlier-captured IAF pilot Wing Comander Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistan was the result of this pressure applied by India, an official said, “In Naya (new) Pakistan, we want to see naya action.”

An official source said, “If there is a subsequent terror attack, all options are there.” The reference to “all options” is usually taken to mean that the military option will continue to be on the table if there is another major terror attack in India that has links to terrorists across the border.

Referring to interviews given by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to CNN and the BBC, sources said that it has emerged from these interactions that there are people in the Pakistani government who not only know where Azhar is, but are also in touch with him.

India has also shared with the US pictures of debris of the F-16 Amraam missile used by a Pakistan Air Force F-16 against the IAF last week, with sources expressing confidence that Washington would investigating the matter amid reports that Islamabad had violated defence agreements with the US by using the missile in an offensive operation against India.

The move came a day after Pakistan on Monday promulgated a law to streamline the procedure for the implementation of the UN sanctions against individuals and organisations.

Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said that the order means that the government has taken over the control of assets and properties of all banned outfits operating in the country.

The JeM had carried out the Pulwama suicide terror bombing in J&K on February 14 that killed over 40 CRPF personnel. After the terror strike, India had last week carried out airstrikes against JeM terror camps in Pakistan.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Pakistani foreign ministry said, “Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Sohail Mehmood will be returning to New Delhi, after completion of consultations in Islamabad.”

It said Pakistan is also committed to continued weekly contact at the military operations directorates level.

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/060319/masood-azhars-son-brother-among-44-jem-men-detained-in-pakistan.html

Sikh24.com – Finally, polygamous “Jathedar” sent home by Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board

Sikh24 Editors

Patna – Bihar – India, 05 March 2019. Following the directions of SGPC appointed acting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, the Management Board of Takht Sri Patna Sahib today removed Giani Iqbal Singh as “Jathedar” of Takht Sri Patna Sahib.

Notably, there was a sharp wrath among the Sikh community against Giani Iqbal Singh after his second wife had lodged complaint of homicidal violence against him.

This decision was taken during the crucial meeting held today by the board members Gobind Singh Longowal, Inderjeet Singh, Surinder Singh, Raja Singh, Kumikkar Singh, Lakhbir Singh, Tarlochan Singh, Harbans Singh and Jagjit Singh Sohi under the aegis of president Avtar Singh Hit.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Takht Sri Patna Sahib’s granthi Giani Rajinder Singh has been temporarily appointed in place of Giani Iqbal Singh.

It may be recalled here that Giani Iqbal Singh had revoked his resignation a few hours after submitting it on March 3. He had succeeded in making the Management Committee of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib (Patna) bow before him with the help of his supporters in the form of “Sikh Sangat”.

https://www.sikh24.com/2019/03/05/finally-polygamous-jathedar-sent-to-home-by-takht-sri-patna-sahib-management-board/#.XH-qDrh7nIU

Brussel Zuid – Brussel Schuman – Brussel Zuid

Brussel Zuid – Bruxelles Midi
19 Februari 2019


Bruxelles Midi

Brussel Schuman
19 February 2019


Track 1 for trains To Brussel Noord, Centraal en Zuid


20:39 IC train to Brussel Zuid


Brussel Schuman

Brussel Zuid – Bruxelles Midi
19 Februari 2019


IC to Gent-Sint-Pieters and Oostende


Brussel Zuid

To see all my pictures:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12445197@N05/

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The News – Hindutva chauvinism responsible for crisis in South Asia, says Sikh group

London – UK, 06 March 2019. The World Sikh Parliament has said that Hindutva chauvinism is responsible for the current crisis in South Asia which has brought nuclear armed Pakistan and India to the brink of war.

The World Sikh Parliament (WSP) said that the event following the Pulwama attack showed India’s incessant journey to an ever more right-wing Hindutva position, in terms of its treatment of other nations, minorities and even neighbouring states.

It said that the spectre of full-scale war with Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir has, quite rightly, led to global alarm and even casual observers of the crisis will know that the current crisis is being driven entirely by the vote bank politics of the forthcoming Indian general elections.

Ranjit Singh Srai said in a statement to this correspondent that both Indian PM Narendra Modi’s BJP and the main opposition Congress parties are desperately vying to play the ultra-nationalist card in order to gain the Hindutva vote and this is being done at the expenses of the people of Kashmir and, in case of war, the people of Punjab where experts have long believed that any military conflict will be largely fought.

He said: “The Sikh homeland in Indian-controlled Punjab, which itself is going through its own struggle for self-determination, is therefore at the heart of the issue, and the World Sikh Parliament will hold India strictly to account for any loss of life or destruction in our homeland.

The World Sikh Parliament urges the UN to take the lead in seizing this moment to nurture peaceful conflict resolution in both Kashmir and Punjab, based on international law which recognises the right of self-determination as a fundamental human right.

The forcible denial of that right has led directly to hundreds of thousands of deaths in both regions over recent decades; it is time the international community woke up to the need to address the unlawful and morally indefensible position of the Indian state. Let us be clear; there will be no peace in the region until that happens. “

Article 1 of the 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, accepted as the bedrock of international humanitarian law, provides that all peoples have the right to self-determination.

Incredibly, when India signed up to the 1966 Covenant, it officially informed the UN that it does not accept that Article 1 of the document applies to any people or nations held within its territory! The UN itself has asked India to withdraw that ‘reservation’, but India refuses to do so.”

The WSP demanded that the Indians stop using the Sikh homeland and Sikh troops in its military aggression against Pakistan. “The Sikh nation is not a party to the Indo-Pak conflict and our homeland and resources must not be utilised for that purpose.

The use of nuclear weapons there risks the annihilation of most of the world’s Sikhs; no Sikh can support the war mongering antics of the Indian establishment and its hysterical media acolytes.

We laud the peaceful posture and wise counsel of Pakistan PM Imran Khan who has repeatedly offered negotiations and talks to his counterpart over recent days.

We call on Sikh soldiers serving in Indian forces, in case of war, to refuse to engage in offensive actions and instead to go to Punjab to protect its people in the face of an existential threat to the Sikh nation and other Punjabis.

The World Sikh Parliament extends its full support to those in Kashmir who are struggling to secure self-determination in accordance with international law.”

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/439377-hindutva-chauvinism-responsible-for-crisis-in-south-asia-says-sikh-group

The Hindu – Images show madrasa buildings still standing at Balakot: USA satellite operator

The image is virtually unchanged from an April 2018 satellite photo of the facility, says news agency Reuters.

New Delhi/Singapore, 06 March 2019.  High-resolution satellite images of a religious school run by terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan appears to be still standing days after the Indian Air Force claimed its warplanes hit its training camp on the site, says news agency Reuters, quoting Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator.

The images produced by the lab show at least six buildings on the madrasa site on 04 March, six days after the air strike, says Reuters.

The images from Planet Labs, which show details as small as 72 cm, offer a clearer look at the structures the government said it attacked, according to Reuters.

The image is virtually unchanged from an April 2018 satellite photo of the facility. There are no discernible holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown-out walls, displaced trees or other signs of an aerial attack, says Reuters, quoting the lab.

The Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of India did not reply to emails sent in the past few days seeking their comment on what is shown in the images, it says.

Missed the target?

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who has 15 years experience in analysing satellite images of weapons sites and systems, confirmed that the high-resolution satellite pictures showed the structures in question.

“The high-resolution images don’t show any evidence of bomb damage,” he said. Mr. Lewis viewed three other high-resolution Planet Labs pictures of the site taken within hours of the images provided to Reuters.

Though the government of India has not publicly disclosed what weapons were used in the air strike, sources told Reuters last week that 12 Mirage 2000 jets carrying 1,000 kg bombs carried out the attack. On Tuesday, a defence official said the aircraft used the 2,000-lb Israeli-made SPICE 2000 glide bomb in the strike.

A warhead of that size is meant to destroy hardened targets such as concrete shelters.

Mr. Lewis and Dave Schmerler, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation studies who also analyses satellite images, said weapons that large would have caused obvious damage to the structures visible in the picture.

“If the strike had been successful, given the information we have about what kind of munitions were used, I would expect to see signs that the buildings had been damaged,” Mr. Lewis said. “I just don’t see that here.”

Pakistan has disputed India’s account, saying the operation was a failure that saw Indian jets, under pressure from Pakistani planes, drop their bombs on a largely empty hillside.

“There has been no damage to any infrastructure or human life as a result of Indian incursion,” Major General Asif Ghafoor, director general of the Pakistan military’s press wing, said in a statement to Reuters.

“This has been vindicated by both domestic and international media after visiting the site.”

In two visits to the Balakot area in Pakistan by Reuters reporters last Tuesday and Thursday, and extensive interviews with people in the surrounding area, there was no evidence found of a destroyed camp or of anyone being killed.

Villagers said there had been a series of huge explosions but the bombs appeared to have landed among trees.

Four craters

On the wooded slopes above Jaba, they pointed to four craters and some splintered pine trees, but noted that little other impact from the blasts that jolted them awake about 3 am on 26 February.

“It shook everything,” said Abdur Rasheed, a van driver who works in the area. there weren’t any human casualties, he added.

Mohammad Saddique from the Jaba Basic Health Unit and Zia Ul Haq, senior medical officer at Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in Balakot, said they had seen no casualties.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/satellite-images-show-madrasa-buildings-still-standing-at-balakot-where-iaf-bombed/article26444663.ece?homepage=true