The Hindustan Times – Sushma Swaraj seeks report into kidnapping of 2 Hindu girls in Pakistan’s Sindh province

In a tweet, Swaraj, while tagging a media report about the incident, said she has asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the matter.

New Delhi – India, 24 March 2019. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought details from the Indian envoy in Pakistan into the reported abduction of two Hindu teenaged girls and their forcible conversion to Islam on the eve of Holi in Sindh province.

In a tweet, Swaraj, while tagging a media report about the incident, said she has asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the matter.

According to the media report, the incident took place in Dharki town of Ghotki district in Sindh province on the eve of Holi.

It said the Hindu community in the area staged protests, demanding action against perpetrators of the alleged crime.

India has been raising the issue of plight of minorities, particularly the Hindu community in Pakistan.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sushma-swaraj-seeks-report-into-kidnapping-of-2-hindu-girls-in-pakistan-s-sindh-province/story-WRktZ9h76qdmACvUp9QhqO.html

The Tribune – ‘Huge space for a genuine regional party, we’ll fill it’

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 23 March 2019. Sukhpal Khaira inherited politics. His father Sukhjinder Singh was an Akali leader and became Education Minister but died a Congressman.

Khaira started his political career as a panchayat member from Ramgarh village in Kapurthala in 1992, but rose to fame when he defeated Akali giant Bibi Jagir Kaur from Bholath in the 2007 Assembly elections.

In 2017, he was elected as an AAP candidate. In an interview with The Tribune reporter Vishav Bharti, he says that he formed Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) last year with an aim to give the voters a ‘genuine regional’ party. Excerpts:

Q.You are contesting from Bathinda. By dividing anti-Akali votes, will it not help Harsimrat Kaur Badal against whom you say is the main. battle?

It is a misconception being propagated by my opponents like Bhagwant Mann. Why did he go to Jalalabad himself? To ensure Sukhbir Badal’s victory?

I feel that Punjab’s politics is being controlled by two big families, Badal family and Captain Amarinder’s family. And both these families need to be challenged. That’s what I want to do by contesting from Bathinda.

It is a big decision of my life. It can finish my career also. I may win or lose, but Punjab must get rid of the Badal family.

Q.In Bathinda, Dera Sacha Sauda yields a lot of influence. Will you approach them for votes?

The question doesn’t even arise. Instead of going to the dera, I will go for issue-based politics which is going to be decisive in this poll.

Q.There is a common view that you are being funded by anti-AAP forces.

It is a cock and bull story. Both Badal and Amarinder Singh are on the same page when it comes to hating Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

Q.The common perception is that the contest is going to be between the Akalis and Congress? Will your alliance not play spoilsport?

You will see the reality once the campaign builds up. It is an argument being fuelled by those who want only Badal and Captain families to rule the state.

Just before the election in Pakistan, similar views were expressed that only Sharif and Bhutto families can rule Pakistan. You can see today that Imran Khan stands tall there. Punjab needs a third alternative and that is what we are trying to give.

Q.What is the future of PEP?

After the crushing defeat of Shiromani Akali Dal, there is a huge vacuum for a genuine regional political party in Punjab. SAD got 26 per cent votes in 2014 and that was before the sacrilege incidents. It will lose more votes in this election.

There is strong anti-incumbency against the Congress. We will get a major share from their votes as well. So, we are hoping that this election will be a beginning for us.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/-huge-space-for-a-genuine-regional-party-we-ll-fill-it/746991.html

Gent: Dendermondsesteenweg – Gentbrugge Braemkasteel – Gent Gurdwara

Dendermondsesteenweg
Evangelical Church
09 March 2019


Bright and morning star church
Light of the world ministry

Gentbrugge Braemkasteel
Forsythia
09 March 2019


Spring is in the air !

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
10 March 2019


Langar


Uninterrupted reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
Akhand Path


One of the ladies that organised this reading


Installing the microphones

Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara
Kortrijksepoortstraat 49
B-9000 Gent – Oost-Vlaanderen

To see all my pictures:

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

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Indian Express – Explained: Who is Jagmeet Singh, why he invites both admiration and anxiety

Although criticized by both moderate Sikhs and Indian officials, his supporters insist that Singh’s advocacy for seeking justice for victims of 1984 should not be equated with making a demand for a separate state.

On Monday this week, Indian-origin politician Jagmeet Singh made history by entering Canada’s Parliament as the first non-White leader of a major political party.

Having already expressed his desire to run for Prime Minister, Singh will be leading the New Democratic Party, the country’s third largest, which has ruled several provinces but has not yet been elected to power at the federal level. Singh’s rise has invited both admiration and anxiety. Here’s why.

Rise to success

40-year-old Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal practised criminal law before entering politics. Canada’s Sikh community is 2 per cent of the country’s population, but politically influential. Singh was elected to Ontario’s Provincial Parliament in 2011.

In September 2017, Singh achieved worldwide popularity after a video of him trying to pacify a heckler at one of his rallies went viral. Many were impressed by Singh’s calm handling of the episode, and some even called him “Trudeau’s worst nightmare”.

Singh, who wears a kirpan, became the leader of the NDP in October 2017, despite opposition in the French-speaking Quebec province, where a display of religious identity in politics is frowned upon.

Almost a year and a half later, Singh has now entered Parliament, having been elected in a by-election from Burnaby South, a constituency with a large Sikh population.

He will lead his party to the general election in October this year, taking on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party, which is currently mired in controversy over the SNC-Lavalin episode.

Described as a leftist, Singh has campaigned against rising college tuition fees and income inequality, while advocating rights for the LGBT community and Canada’s indigenous people.

In 2012, while he was a member of its Provincial Parliament, Singh tried to get Ontario to leverage its strong trade ties with India in order to force New Delhi to go soft on Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the principal accused in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

In 2013, India declined a visa to Singh, a rare instance in which a sitting member of a Western legislature was denied entry.

In 2016, Singh introduced a resolution in Ontario’s Assembly to describe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a “genocide”. Although defeated then, the same resolution was passed by Trudeau’s Liberal Party the following year.

While running for the NDP leadership, Singh accused Indian intelligence agencies of trying to subvert his campaign. Soon after getting elected, Singh refused to denounce Talwinder Singh Parmar, the terrorist mastermind behind the Air India Flight 182 bombing which killed 329 people, mostly Canadians.

Around the same time, Singh said that he considered self-determination to be a “basic right” in Punjab and in Quebec, inviting scathing criticism from India as well as from within Canada.

Singh has attended pro-Khalistan rallies in London and San Francisco, and has accused the Indian government of “initiating a genocidal campaign against the Sikh minority”. He has described the events following Operation Bluestar as an “attempt to extinguish the Sikh community”.

Although criticized by both moderate Sikhs and Indian officials, his supporters insist that Singh’s advocacy for seeking justice for victims of 1984 should not be equated with making a demand for a separate state.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/who-is-jagmeet-singh-why-he-invites-both-admiration-and-anxiety-563870/

Dawn – Notice taken of alleged forced conversion, underage marriages of 2 minor Hindu girls in Ghotki: Fawad

Ghotki – Sindh – Pakistan, 23 March 2019. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said the government has taken notice of reports of the alleged forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage girls in Ghotki.

The girls’ father and brother, in videos circulating on social media, say that the two sisters were abducted and forced into changing their religion. However, a separate video of the minor girls is also making the rounds, in which they say that they accepted Islam of their own free will.

Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir was among those who raised the issue on Twitter, sharing a video which he said was of the two sisters, one aged 14 and the other 16.

In the video, a cleric can be seen next to the girls and two men who they were married to. The cleric says the girls were inspired by Islam and alleges that their family is spreading “false propaganda” and is threatening their lives.

Nasir said the sisters were converted at the Dargah Barchundi Sharif. “As per Dargah, girls wanted to convert to Islam since long influenced by its teachings, but first act after conversion was underage marriage,” he said. The girls were reportedly taken to Rahim Yar Khan following their marriages.

Nasir also shared a copy of a first information report dated March 20, which was registered by the girls’ family against their alleged forced conversion to Islam.

“FIR [registered] with local police for ‘abducting to compel to marriage’. Age in FIR is 14 and 16,” said Nasir. “Under Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, every citizen under 18 falls under definition of child and can’t be married”.

“Police has tried to dismiss the matter by citing a video of the two sisters in which they claim they will fully converted (sic) to Islam,” Nasir said.

Chaudhry on Twitter said that the Human Rights Ministry had been “asked for an inquiry”. The information minister said he would share more information when it became available.

The Ghotki police could not be reached on Saturday evening for a comment.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1471428/notice-taken-of-alleged-forced-conversion-underage-marriages-of-2-minor-hindu-girls-in-ghotki-fawad