Tolo News – Critics label Qatar meeting cancelation ‘a lost opportunity’

Political commentators said the cancellation of the meeting shows that there is “no sincere will for peace”.

Kabul – Kabul Province – Afghanistan, 19 April 2019. The cancelation of the intra-Afghan meeting in Qatar met with strong reaction by Afghan critics and former Taliban members who called it “disappointing” and a “lost opportunity” towards peace in the war-ravaged Afghanistan.

The meeting was canceled on the disagreement of Qatari government with the Afghan delegation’s formation, the Presidential Palace acknowledged in a statement issued late on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, Doha meeting was canceled because some people whose interests will be in danger do not want peace to come,” said Mawlawi Abdul Shakur, a former member of Taliban said.

“If they (the Afghan government and the US) wanted, they could handle the issue because they had everything under control. An airplane could come and would transfer all members of the delegation to Doha. But it shows that they are not supporting peace and it seems that the US is also not sincere in its will for peace,” said Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen, a political analyst.

Other critics said they expect that another intra-Afghan meeting will take place in Uzbekistan in mid-May.

“After the Doha meeting, there will be a meeting in Samarkand and it is a kind of meeting for starting an intra-Afghan dialogue. Now as Doha meeting has not happened, for me it looks like the date of Samarkand meeting also may change,” said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a university lecturer.

“The Samarkand meeting will be a negotiation platform and so far, an agreement has not been made about its details that how the Afghan government will attend the event and who will participate from the Afghan side,” said Fawzia Kofi, a former MP.

In reaction to the cancelation of the Qatar meeting, Taliban in a statement said it was an attempt by the Kabul government to cancel the conference.

“Participants of the meeting could mention their personal views, but the Kabul government in meetings at the Presidential Palace mentioned issues such as red lines and conditions.

Also, the government issued a list of the participants of the meeting before sharing it with the organizers of the meeting, which the list was neither proportionate with the event’s venue nor it was possible to admit all the participants,” Taliban said in a statement.

“Taliban believes that the government ‘deliberately’ tried to create disorder in this regard,” the statement read.

The Meeting Canceled

The Presidential Palace in the statement on Thursday said that the Doha meeting was “canceled” as the Qatar government did not accept the Afghan delegation’s list and instead suggested a new list “which was not acceptable to the Afghan government”.

“After completion of preparations of the delegation for going to (Qatar), Qatar government sent a new list which was not balanced in terms of involvement of the people of Afghanistan and in other words it was a disrespect to the national will of the Afghan people and this is not acceptable to the people of Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“A group of politicians at a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani agreed that the act by the Qatari government is not acceptable and they decided to ask the Qatari government to allow the attendance of the Afghan delegation selected by Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“As far as the government of Qatar could not practice our legitimate suggestion, the Doha conference was canceled.”

The statement said that the government and the people of Afghanistan are committed to achieving a dignified peace and will continue their sincere efforts in this respect.

Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet that he is “disappointed” that Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative “has been delayed”.

“We’re in touch with all parties and encouraged that everyone remains committed to dialogue and the Afghan peace process,” he said.

“Dialogue is and always will be key to a political roadmap and lasting peace. There is no alternative.

I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans. I stand ready to help if our help is needed,” he tweeted.

Former President Hamid Karzai said a statement that the Doha meeting was delayed but added that Afghans will continue their efforts for peace through an intra-Afghan meeting in the near future.

Sultan Barakat, Director of Doha Institute, who was expected to host the Afghans-Taliban meeting in Qatar said in a tweet that the meeting was delayed as it is “unfortunately necessary to further build consensus as to who should participate in the conference”.

“There is no disagreement over agenda items and nobody is questioning the serious commitment of all sides to achieving peace. Rather, there is insufficient agreement around participation and representation to enable the conference to be a success Doha Afghan talks,” he said. – BJP is hell bent to play the Hindutva card to retain power – says Dal Khalsa

Sikh24 Editors

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 19 April 2019. On April 18, the pro-freedom Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa stated that the BJP’s choice of Hindutva terror face, Pragya Thakur, as their candidate for Bhopal parliamentary seat is a clear case of double standards of the Modi government on terrorism.

Speaking at a function on the first death anniversary of a KLF militant leader Harminder Singh Mintoo alias Nihang, who died in prison under mysterious circumstances, senior party leader Harcharanjit Singh Dhami said that Pragya Singh Thakur’s candidature was a reminder that the BJP was determined to make the country a Hindu India and the BJP is hell bent to play the Hindutva card to retain power, come what may.

“For the BJP, anti-minority faces like her are assets which help it to consolidate majority votes. Polarising or dividing the country on communal and caste lines has always been BJP’s agenda but now it has come to the fore even more brazenly under the tutelage of Modi and Shah,” he added.

Speaking of double standards, the Dal Khalsa leader dwelt on the irony that on the one hand the Indian state wants the whole world and the UNSC to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist for masterminding terror attacks on Indians and on the other the BJP is honoring Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, an accused in bomb blasts cases on innocent Muslims, with nomination to the Indian Parliament.

Giving her nomination is like the Congress party honoring the Pandey brothers with nomination to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly after they hijacked an aircraft in favor of the then Congress chief Indira Gandhi, in the late seventies.

He chided the SAD to learn from their alliance partner and not to run down the Sikhs who have actively participated in the Sikh struggle for rights and freedom. Throwing a jibe at them, he asked, “Can Akali Dal dare to field any Khalistani militant as their official nominee?”

Bhai Daljit Singh presented Siropa to the family members of the deceased Harminder Singh Mintu. The other prominent speakers at the function included Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, former Jathedar Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode and Sikh Youth of Punjab president Paramjit Singh Tanda.

BJP is hell bent to play the Hindutva card to retain power, says Dal Khalsa

Bosnia – Sarajevo

Jesus Sacred Heart Cathedral
08 April 2019

Pope Francis visited Sarajevo in 2015

Main door and side doors all closed

Main door

Ferhadija – Eurolines
08 April 2019

Eurolines Bosnia / Hercegovina

Marsala Tita Market
08 April 2019

Covered market – Tram Tracks

Covered market – Blue Tram

More Bosnian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Published in: on April 20, 2019 at 5:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Associated Press of Pakistan – Sikh yatris arrive in Lahore

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 18 April 2019. The Sikh yatris, currently in Pakistan for Besakhi celebrations, have reached the city through special trains from Nankana Sahib, in the leadership of Sardar Ravinder Singh Khalsa.

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Secretary Tariq Wazir, Deputy Secretary General Syed Faraz Abbas and other officials warmly welcomed the yatris. Later, they visited Gurdwara Dera Sahib.

Foolproof security arrangements were made at Lahore Railway Station by the Punjab government. Sikh yatris also raised slogans in favour of the government of Pakistan.

Talking to the media, the yatris expressed satisfaction over security arrangements and praised the ETPB officials and people of Pakistan.

Official sources said that Dayal Singh Cultural Foundation arranged a big ceremony in the honour of Sikh yatris in connection with Besakhi Festival at Aiwan-i-Iqbal on April 20. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will be the chief guest on the occasion.

Sikh yatrees arrive in Lahore

Dawn – Unusual rain, windstorms cause irreparable damage to desi wheat variety

Nabeel Anwar Dhakku

Chakwal- Panjab – Pakistan, 19 April 2019. Unusual rainfall and windstorms in the Potohar region earlier this week have caused “irreparable damage” to the desi variety of wheat crops, according to farmers and Punjab agriculture department officials.

Although the freak weather destroyed wheat in a large part of South Punjab, recommended new varieties of wheat crops cultivated in the Potohar region survived the wind and hailstorms and torrential rain.

Wheat was grown on 300,000 acres in Chakwal district alone, and due to the above normal and intermittent rain this winter a bumper wheat yield is expected in Chakwal and nearby districts. Desi wheat known as rodi is also grown in large swathes of the region.

The desi variety was “badly affected” by the windstorm, Chakwal Agriculture Department Assistant Director Dr Mohammad Khalid told Dawn. He said the windstorm had caused the wheat to be laid down, and it was unlikely to recover now.

Newer variety of wheat crop survived weather, gram crops badly affected

“The stem of this variety is thinner than other modern varieties, which is why it could not endure the windstorm,” Dr Khalid explained.

The awnless rodi variety is one of the most sought after in rural areas when it comes to farmers’ domestic use. Zaffar Abbas, a farmer, said that chapattis made using flour from rodi wheat are more flavourful and its husk is better than that of other varieties, which makes it the preferred one for animals as husk is an inevitable requisite for cattle fodder.

Unripe crops of this variety are also used as fodder because its kernel does not have any bristly material, called the beard, and cattle can eat it easily. Rodi is also drought tolerant, but not able to produce sufficient yield because its spikes or ears are smaller than other varieties.

“This variety is still cultivated in a considerable quantity in the region,” Dr Khalid said, adding that more than 80pc of this variety has been damaged by the recent weather.

“Other varieties have also been affected to some extent but they could manage to recover from the recent attack of freakish weather,” he said.

Hailstorms also destroyed wheat crops in parts of Talagang and Lawa tehsils, and severely damaged what in Mianwali, Attock, Bhakar and across south Punjab.

Gram crop was also affected by the rain and wind. An official said: “Grams do not need moisture at this time of the season. The rain at this time badly affected the gram yield.”

Dr Mohammad Hanif, chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department said the country witnessed quite an unusual pattern of rainfall.

“This is happening due to climate change, as flash floods also recently hit Iran and Afghanistan. The freakish weather that struck Pakistan is just the extension of that phenomenon, which visited neighbouring countries,” he said, adding that the weather will remain dry for a week but rain is expected by next Thursday.

“Farmers should harvest their crops as soon as possible,” he said.