The Asian Age – Government sets up tribunal to adjudicate ban on pro-Khalistan group ‘Sikhs For Justice’

The SFJ is mostly active in online platforms and has more than two lakh supporters but physical presence is minuscule.

New Delhi – India, 08 August 2019. The Centre has set up a tribunal to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient reason to impose a ban on pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which was declared as an unlawful organisation last month.

While imposing the ban, the Union Home Ministry had said the group’s primary objective is to establish an “independent and sovereign country” in Punjab and it openly espouses the cause of Khalistan and in that process, challenges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the central government hereby constitutes an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, consisting of Mr Justice D N Patel, Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi, for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause of declaring the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) as an unlawful association,” a notification issued by the Home Ministry said.

Such a tribunal is constituted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to give an opportunity to the banned entity to present its case but is usually a no-show.

The US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) pushes for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda.

The fringe organisation, run by a few radical Sikhs of foreign nationality in the US, Canada, the UK, etc., was declared unlawful under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The SFJ is mostly active in online platforms and has more than two lakh supporters but physical presence is minuscule, with just eight to 10 active members.

Paramjeet Singh Pammu, an active member of the SFJ, recently attended a cricket world cup match, where he had raised anti-India slogans, an official said.

The SFJ is also planning to conduct a Khalistan referendum on pilgrims who would visit the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan in the future.

https://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/080819/govrenment-sets-up-tribunal-to-adjudicate-ban-on-pro-khalistan-group-sikhs-for-justice.html

Sikh24.com – On Kartarpur corridor project, India likely to wriggle out on the pretext of the Kashmir situation

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 08 August 2019. Alarmed at the emerging tense situation, the Dal Khalsa, SAD ( Amritsar) and other Panthik bodies have said that India’s unilateral action to strip Kashmir of its special status and Pakistan’s natural reaction against it, has triggered the possibility of war between both the nuclear neighbors.

They added that the India-Pakistan relations after India’s retrograde step revoking Article 370 is likely to cast a shadow on Kartarpur corridor and Gurpurab celebrations.

From day one, we were suspicious of India’s intentions. New Delhi has reluctantly accepted Sikh demand for passage to historic Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib after Pakistan’s nod, said Dal Khalsa’s spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh in a press conference in Moga today.

Accompanied by Gurdeep Singh Bathinda and Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singh wala, he said Gurpurab celebrations have begun. Nagar Kirtan from Nankana Sahib is enroute and second one from Delhi to Nankana Sahib is on the anvil. “On such a sacred occasion India took drastic step against the Kashmiri people by trampling their rights, seizing Kashmir by caging the leadership and the people.

It looks India wants to kill two birds with single stone and wriggle out corridor project on the pretext of the Kashmir situation,” he added.

He said the Indian government has pushed the Sikh community into a state of uncertainty.

The leaders announced the protest rallies on 15 August at 15 districts of the state against injustices and political subjugation. Kashmir is facing state’s tyranny, which Punjab has already faced for decades and the oppressor is the same (read New Delhi), said they.

Referring to the picture of NSA head Ajit Doval published in the entire media wherein he is shown having meal with three Muslims in Shopian area, the leaders of Sikh groups took a jibe and ask nobody knows who are they?

They could be cops, they could be renegades, they could be brought from Delhi for PR photo-show. The picture in which Doval is seen wearing bullet proof jacket and standing before closed shops itself conveys the real ground message which Modi government wants to hide and hoodwink the world.

On Kartarpur corridor project, India likely to wriggle out on the pretext of the Kashmir situation

Gent: Gent-Zuid – Gurdwara – De Krook – Sint-Pietersstation

Gent-Zuid
28 July 2019


Tram 2 to Zwijnaarde


Bus 72 to Oostakker Dorp

Gent Gurdwara
28 July 2019


Mother and daughter reciting Sukhmani Sahib

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

Gent De Krook
29 July 2019


Platteberg

Gent-Sint-Pieters
To Sint-Pieters Woluwe
30 July 2019


Escalator to track 11


Older, not so comfortable carriages

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Pieter Friedrich – Jammu and Kashmir loses “Special Status”

Part 1 – The long Hindu nationalist agenda of absorption

Terror grips the most militarized zone in the world after India’s Central Government terminated Jammu and Kashmir’s 70-year-old “special status” as the first step towards stripping the disputed region of statehood entirely.

Internationally infamous as the world’s hottest potential nuclear flashpoint, J&K originally acceded to India in 1947 only on the condition that the newly-formed country be restricted from interfering in the domestic affairs of the mountainous northern region.

The agreement was sealed between the last king of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh Dogra, and the representative of the British crown, Governor-General Lord Mountbatten. In 1949, when passage of the constitution formed the Republic of India, the Maharaja’s conditions for accession were enshrined in Article 370.

The crux of the article, in combination with Article 35A of 1954, was that, while J&K accepted India’s handling of issues like defense and foreign policy, the state otherwise reserved the right to autonomy in handling its domestic affairs. Kashmiris, thus, lived under their own distinct laws.

Notably, citizens of other parts of India were prohibited from settling permanently or owning property in Kashmir. In the eyes of many Kashmiris, this prevented settler colonialism. On August 5, 2019, the President of India abolished this “special status” by decree.

Simultaneously, Home Minister Amit Shah, charged with India’s internal security, introduced a bill in the upper house of parliament to strip J&K of statehood, downgrade it to a “Union Territory,” and partition the region.

As Shah did this, the Central Government shut down Kashmir. It imposed a virtual curfew, banning movement of the public, shuttering educational institutions, and barring all public assemblies or meetings. It severed communications, cutting off phone and internet access.

And it conducted arrests of mainstream Kashmiri political leaders, such as former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, on unknown charges.

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which was just re-elected in May, campaigned on promises to scrap J&K’s “special status.”

The BJP’s manifesto alleged that it was “an obstacle in the development of the state,” while Shah insisted it stood in the way of of Kashmir becoming an “integral party of India permanently” and was necessary for “national security.” Indeed, the tumultuous region has suffered a significant influx in violence in recent years.

Since 2014, when Prime Minister Modi’s regime first came to power, terrorist incidents in J&K have nearly tripled and security forces deaths have nearly doubled. According to a July 2019 UN report, independent bodies documented 159 security forces deaths in 2018, a figure comparable to US troop fatalities in Iraq in 2009.

The latest round of escalating tensions traces back to at least 2010, when mass protests erupted over an “encounter killing” of three civilians by Indian Army troops. Protests again erupted in 2016. During suppression efforts, security forces killed hundreds of protesters.

The Central Government has responded by flooding J&K with more and more soldiers. The small region, slightly smaller than the United Kingdom, is already occupied by a bare minimum of 500,000 troops. Since late July 2019, India has deployed nearly another 50,000.

Delhi has additionally responded by repeatedly dissolving J&K’s elected state government, imposing direct rule three times since 2015.

The last time was in June 2018, after India’s ruling BJP withdrew from a coalition with then J&K Chief Minister Mufti, apparently because she advocated “reconciliation” instead of a “muscular security policy” as the most effective solution to the Kashmir conflict. Elections have not been allowed since 2014.

The ongoing occupation as well as the long-term use of direct rule, imposed for approximately ten of the past 42 years, contribute to the perception of Kashmiris that they are nothing more than vassals within the Republic of India.

The religious dimensions of the conflict reinforce that perspective. With a 68 percent Muslim population, many residents of J&K have historically felt like Muslim subjects governed by Hindu rulers.

Their sentiments are enhanced by the authoritative agenda so abruptly implemented by the Hindu nationalist BJP, many of whose leaders have openly demanded that India be officially declared a Hindu Nation.

To understand the present situation, it is necessary to briefly examine the longer history of the region, including how it became what M K Gandhi called “a Hindu State, the majority of its people being Muslims.”

This long article will be published in five parts in the coming days
Pieter Friedrich is a South Asian Affairs Analyst who resides in California.
He is the co-author of Captivating the Simple-Hearted:
A Struggle for Human Dignity in the Indian Subcontinent.

Discover more by him at
www.pieterfriedrich.net

Dawn – Editorial – Playing with fire

Editorial, 7 August 2019. The BJP’s reckless and dangerous move to revoke the special status of India-held Kashmir as enshrined in the Indian constitution has raised the threat of turmoil in the subcontinent to significant levels.

In effect, the hard-line Hindu zealots who surround Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have convinced him to dismiss international opinion, which firmly considers Kashmir a disputed territory, and forge ahead on this destructive path by subsuming the occupied region into the Indian union.

While this nefarious aim has long been on the BJP’s agenda, it is after the last Indian general election that Mr Modi and company gathered the confidence, some would say foolhardiness, to press ahead with it.

Drunk on power and ambition, the Indian establishment has decided to risk playing with fire for petty political gains.

However, the question that must be asked is: where are those who, not too long ago, were willing to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir question? Indeed, the American reaction to India’s moves in Kashmir has been massively disappointing.

The US State Department spokesperson issued a wishy-washy statement on the matter that glaringly left out Pakistan’s position on the issue.

The statement, instead, appeared to indirectly support New Delhi’s outrageous claims, observing that “… the Indian government has described these actions as strictly an internal matter. …”

Whatever terms the Indian government may use to justify its malevolent actions in Kashmir, the US should have the moral courage to call a spade a spade and take a balanced view of the matter.

US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between Islamabad and Delhi seems to have disappeared into thin air, as the US has offered a clichéd statement to address a critical issue.

However, one positive development that has emerged from the events of the last few days is that the leadership in occupied Kashmir has been united against India’s dubious designs.

While Hurriyat leaders such as Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF head Yaseen Malik have openly challenged India in the region, even some of Delhi’s erstwhile loyalists in IHK have clearly rejected moves to annex Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of IHK, termed the decision to revoke Article 370 as “the darkest day in Indian democracy”, while Omar Abdullah, another former chief minister, has also slammed the move.

Perhaps now the time is right for Kashmiri leaders of different persuasions to bury their differences and join forces to confront India on this dire issue; this is beyond politics and indeed concerns the very survival of Kashmir as a distinct entity.

Moreover, Pakistan has done well to contact foreign leaders, including the Malaysian and Turkish leaders, and take them on board regarding Kashmir.

It is time that the OIC took a strong stance and pursued Kashmir’s case on the world stage.

Pakistan’s voice alone may be drowned out; but were the OIC to lend support to the suffering Kashmiris, the world may well listen.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1498546/playing-with-fire