World Sikh News – Post 2019 polls, challenging times ahead for Sikhs and Punjab

Prabhdial Singh Saini

Published 1 week ago

Op/Ed, The general election results 2019 for the state of Punjab pose a grave challenge to Sikhs in India in the near future. When we as a community have already surrendered to the RSS, courtesy our own Sikh leaders, we have to look more within than outside.

The RSS has infiltrated every Sikh institution and is eating our vitals in a rather organised manner. They are disciplined and dedicated with a clear agenda and ideology.

They are trying hard to assimilate Sikhs since 1925 and particularly since 1947 and have been pretty much successful. Those who resisted in the past, like Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his ilk have been eliminated and those who will resist in future are also likely to meet the same fate.

There is no difference be­tween the Congress and the Bhartiya Janata Party. They are both outputs of the Hindutva input. They are the same sides of the Hindutva coin.

So, what will happen to Sikhs? Will they be subsumed in the vast reservoir of Hinduism? No. Sikhs will virtually rise out of the Phoenix and with the grace of our Gurus survive as we have in the past. We have survived in jungles and we will survive even now.

However, with the very existence of all minorities in danger in India, it will ultimately be the natural law of survival of the fittest. Sikhs have to regroup, regain strength and vigour and come out of their self-defeating and self-destructing activities of massive Langars and gigantic Kirtan Darbars and massive Nagar Kirtans.

Sikhs need to evolve and engage with farsighted leadership. We missed the bus in 1935 when we could not carry through the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar offer of joining Sikhs along with his millions of Dalit followers. We again failed to board the bus when our leadership did not see through the Con­gress party design and rejected the British offer of a sovereign Sikh homeland. For how long will this con­tinue to hap­pen?

Sikhs will have to realise that they are today living in a critical situation and their very existence in Punjab is in question.

Post 2019 polls, challenging times ahead for Sikhs and Punjab

The Tribune – Special Investigation Team: Case against dera chief was cancelled at Sukhbir’s behest

Tribune News Service

Faridkot – Panjab – India, 30 May 2019. A chargesheet filed in the court here by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Kotkapura firing incident of October 2015 has claimed that Sukhbir Badal had got cancelled a criminal case of blasphemy against Dera Sacha Sauda chief in January 2015, five days before the polling for Assembly elections to gain vote bank of the dera. The criminal case was registered against the dera chief in May 2007 at Bathinda.

The act of firing on peaceful protesters in Kotkapura on 14 October 2015, was an outcome of a conspiracy between certain high-profile politicians and police officers in connivance with the head of Dera Sacha Sauda and his followers.

IGP Paramraj Singh Umranangal, former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, former Akali MLA Mantar Singh Brar, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal were part of the conspiracy. This is unambiguous finding of the SIT, reads the chargesheet.

In the chargesheet, the SIT has alleged that after granting pardon to Sacha Sauda dera chief on September 24, 2015, the SGPC had spent Rs 82.50 lakh on related advertisement to justify and give publicity to this pardon.

Before this pardon to the dera chief, Sukhbir Singh Badal had a meeting with the dera chief in Mumbai on September 15, 2015, and the meeting was arranged by film actor Akshay Kumar.

A day after this pardon to the dera chief, a controversial film of the dera chief was released in Punjab on September 25, 2015. “Singh is Bling”, a controversial film of Akshay Kumar was also released in Punjab on October 2, 2015.

The SGPC was requested to provide the copy of letter for pardon it had received from the dera chief, but the letter and relevant record have not been provided by the SGPC, reads the chargesheet.

About the defence of alibi by Sukhbir Badal that he was not in Punjab when the incident of police firing took place at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, the SIT claimed in the chargesheet that he was aware of each and every development on that day.

The SIT is waiting for response from the office of the Chief Secretary, Punjab, about the details of Sukhbir’s presence on that day, reads the chargesheet.

Accusing the police under the command of IGP Paramraj Singh Umranangal of arson, the SIT’s chargesheet relied upon some video clips to show that the police were putting a Tempo with sound system on fire and this happened in the presence of DIG AS Chahal and Umranangal.

He was in civil dress purposely not to be identified by the people.

To execute its plan in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan on October 14, 2015, the then SSP, Moga, Charanjit Sharma, was especially called by Umranangal and Sumedh Saini from leave. Other police officers, including DIG Amar Singh Chahal, DSP and SHO, Kotkapura, followed the command of Umranangal in furtherance of the conspiracy, reads the chargesheet.

Dag van de Arbeid: Hand in Hand – Gent-Sint-Pieters – Leuven NMBS

Dag van de Arbeid
01 May 2019

Hand-in-Hand supporters

This family also joined the parade

04 May 2019

Brussel Centraal – Eupen via Leuven

Escalators out of order, we had to use the stairs

Track 10 IC train to Brussel and Eupen

Leuven NMBS
04 May 2019

Track 5: Brussel – Blankenberge via Gent

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Express Tribune – Tribal area Sikhs angry at being ignored for tickets in election

Ahtesham Khan

Peshawar – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pakistan, 31 May 2019. Even though Sikhs make up a majority of the minority communities in the seven newly merged districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), they seem to have been ignored by all political parties when awarding tickets on reserved seats for minorities in the upcoming provincial assembly elections.

This has irked the resident Sikh community, who number more than 45,000 but are predominantly concentrated in three tribal districts including Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram.

Baba Gurpal Singh, who had unsuccessfully applied for a ticket with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), told The Express Tribune that even though he had been associated with the party since 2013.

He added that despite assurances and promises from the party leadership, a person who had joined the party just two months ago had been awarded a ticket while he had been ignored.

The provincial assembly already has a Kailashi and a Hindu on the minority seats in the provincial assembly.

“We do appreciate the efforts of all political parties [in nominating minority members], but despite the assurances of the PTI, they have awarded their sole seat from the tribal areas to a Christian, while we are ignored,” Singh complained.

“The community has been irked by the dealing of PTI, we are going to register our reservations with K-P Governor Shah Farman, Federal Minorities Minister Noorul Haq Qadri and K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and will demand that the party revisit their decisions,” Singh said.

PTI has awarded the ticket to Wilson Wazir, who only recently joined the party.

The PTI and the Sikh community have a particularly complicated history. In the May 2013 elections, the PTI had handed a ticket to Sardar Soran Singh of Buner. He went on to become the provincial minister for minorities in the cabinet led by Pervez Khattak.

However, he was assassinated near his house in April 2016 by fellow Sikh Baldev Kumar. Kumar was a political rival of the former minorities minister and was first in line to take up Singh’s seat.

PTI announces ticket holders

The PTI has issued a list of its 16 ticket holders for the upcoming provincial assembly elections in the newly merged tribal areas.

According to PTI’s Central Media Department, Anwar Zeb Khan has been handed a PTI ticket for PK-100 Bajuar-I, Ajmal Khan has been given a ticket for PK-101 Bajuar-II, Hamidur Rehman for PK-102 Bajaur-III, Rahim Shah for PK-1-3 Mohmand-I, Muhammad Israr for PK-104 Mohmand-II, Shahid Hussain for PK-105 Khyber-I, Amir Khan Afridi for PK-106 Khyber-II, Muhammad Zubair for PK-107 Khyber-III, Shahid Khan for PK-108 Kurram-I, Syed Iqbal Mian for PK-109 Kurram-II, Shoaib Hassan for PK-110 Orakzai, Mohammad Iqbal Khan for PK-111 North Waziristan-I, Aurang Zaib Khan PK-112 North Waziristan-II, Afsar Khan PK-113 South Waziristan-I, Naseerullah Khan PK-114 South Waziristan-II and Abidur Rehman Pk-115 for the frontier regions.

Further, all other candidates have been directed to immediately withdraw in favour of the candidates nominated by the party. The candidates were selected by a three-member Parliamentary Board comprising Qadri, K-P Chief Minister Mehmood and PTI Secretary General Irshad Dad.

With additional input from Riswan Ghilzai in Islamabad

Dawn – World Health Organisation experts begin probe into sudden spread of HIV in Larkana

Our Correspondent

Larkana – Sindh – Pakistan, 31 May 2019. The team of the World Health Organisation that arrived in the country on Tuesday to probe reasons behind the spread of HIV and investigate from where the virus had travelled to the area, visited the children’s treatment centre for HIV/AIDS in Chandka Medical College children’s hospital on Thursday and inquired the staff about how they handled the patients.

The team asked project manager of Sindh AIDS Control Programme who accompanied them about the facilities and the protocol for treating AIDS patients. On Friday, the team members would visit Ratodero taluka hospital to personally observe the ongoing process of blood screening for HIV, said sources.

Before the visit of the healthcare facility, the WHO team held a meeting with Sindh Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho and other stakeholders at Darbar Hall to review the overall situation regarding the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in Ratodero and the efforts put in so far to fight the virus.

Olive Morgan, the team leader, told that meeting that the scope of the delegation was to dig out the reasons behind the spread of the deadly disease and also see from where it had travelled to the area.

He said that the WHO was ready to help patients suffering from the deadly virus. The participants in the meeting exchanged views and discussed certain proposals as to how best to handle the situation. The delegation also handed over AIDS medicines to the minister.

The minister said that since the outbreak of the virus, the health department had set up blood screening camps in and around Ratodero to test the population and opened treatment centers in hospitals. She termed the situation a ‘challenge’ and expressed optimism about overcoming it in near future.

The minister accompanied by health officials later visited the blood screening centre in Ratodero taluka hospital where she told reporters that the WHO delegates were working on different diseases and they would provide the Sindh government a detailed study report on HIV/AIDS.

She said that both Global Fund and Sindh government were financially contributing towards efforts to combat the virus and “we are planning to systematically and scientifically spend the funds”. She claimed a ‘drop’ in the virus’ intensity and said that people were very afraid of the virus.

She said that so far 712 persons had been diagnosed as HIV positive at the blood screening centre at Ratodero and announced that WHO and other stakeholders would help Sindh government in establishing good treatment centers.

She said that during their stay the foreign delegates would interact with different communities, visit blood screening camps and treatment centers and compile a report with the findings and reasons which led to the virus’ spread.

Secretary for health Dr Saeed Ahmed Magnejo, Larkana commissioner Saleem Raza Khuhro, project manager of Sindh AIDS Control Programme Dr Sikandar Memon, deputy commissioner, representatives of PPHI, Expan­ded Programme of Immunisation and district health officer attended the meeting.

15 more test positive for HIV

Fifteen, 11 among them children, tested positive for HIV during ongoing blood screening test at Ratodero taluka hospital where 286 persons were screened on Thursday. Among them four were adults (one male and three females) and 11 were children (six boys and five girls), said sources.

Nine health facilities sealed

Ghulam Yaseen Vessar, deputy director of anti-quackery section of the Sindh Healthcare Commission, sealed nine healthcare facilities on the outskirts of Larkana after raids.

Mr Vessar said that the health facilities were either run by quacks or their premises were found unfit for being clinics. Three clinic owners had been warned to rectify shortfalls or face action, he said. So far 189 clinics had been sealed and 61 had been issued warning, he said.