Tolo News – Ex-Guantanamo Prisoner: “My world was very small”

Obaidullah was eighteen years old when he was arrested by US forces, now he is 36

“I was looking at the moon from the window of the cell where I was imprisoned,” said Obaidullah, a former Taliban member, who was released last week from the Guantanamo Bay detention center and reintegrated with his family in Khost province after nearly two decades of separation.

Khost – Afghanistan, 02 January 2019. Obaidullah, now 36, was just eighteen years old when he was detained and he has spent nearly half of his life in US custody.

“I was associated with the Taliban only for a short period of time. I was serving in the Taliban’s military section, therefore I was arrested by the American forces,” the former Taliban member told TOLOnews’ Sharif Amiri.

“They (US forces) imposed on us the most brutal acts during our detention as if we were the most dangerous criminals. I had no hope that someday I would rejoin my family,” said Osman, Obaidullah’s cousin who was also released from the US jail after three months from Bagram prison.

Obaidullah’s family said that his release was a dream for them.

“We had no information about Obaidullah for two and half years, however, there were some rumors in the media that he was transferred to Guantanamo prison, but we received a letter from him after two and half a years, then the letters started coming from him more regularly with the help of ICRC and then we started having online calls,” said Mohammad Akram, Obaidullah’s brother.

Obaidullah was eighteen years old when he was arrested by US forces. Obaidullah became the father of a baby girl only three days before his arrest. However, he was always living with her memories in the jail.

“I want my children to go to school and study, because we cannot achieve development without learning. Afghanistan needs its children to study and become educated,” said Obaidullah.

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/ex-gitmo-prisoner-%E2%80%9Cmy-world-was-very-small%E2%80%9D

The Tribune – Festive spirit

Guru Gobind Singh Janam Din


Harmandr Sahib Nagar Kirtan

Harmandr Sahib – Amritsar, 2 January 2020.

  • Ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, thousands of devotees were seen queuing up for their turn to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple [Harmandr Sahib] on Wednesday
  • Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, too, visited the shrine [Harmandr Sahib]
  • Golden Temple [Harmandr Sahib] manager Jaswinder Singh Deenpur said adequate arrangements were made to accommodate the visitors

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/festive-spirit-20175

 

Den Haag (NL)

Hobbemaplein
Diversity

24 December 2019


Faja Lobie – Surinam and European jewelry


Islamic butcher


Zoutvlees – Salted meat
Suriname specialty


Cooking banana (Bakbanaan)


Madame Jeanette peppers
Super hot
Suriname specialty


Hobbemaplein

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

NDTV – Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan to be shut for non-Sikhs on Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday

The Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan’s Punjab province connects Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab in India.

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 01 January 2020. The historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, will be closed for local non-Sikh visitors for three days from Friday in connection to the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, an official said in Lahore on Wednesday.

“The (Pakistan) government has decided to close Kartarpur Sahib for three days from January 3 to 5 for non-Sikh visitors to exclusively hold a Sikh event, celebration of birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh at the Kartarpur Complex Narowal,” Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETBP) spokesperson Amir Hashmi said. The ETPB looks after the holy places of minorities in Pakistan.

Mr Hashmi said the government decided to close Kartarpur Sahib for non-Sikh Pakistanis to let the Sikhs of Pakistan and India celebrate their Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday together at the historic Kartarpur complex.

“The main event of the 10th Guru of Sikh religion Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary will be held at Kartarpur on 05 January.

In addition to 2,000 Pakistani Sikhs, officials of the ETPB and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee will also participate in it,” the official said, adding that strict security measures have been taken to avert any untoward incident.

The official said that on Saturday and Sunday more than 20,000 non-Sikh pilgrims visit the Kartarpur complex which is 120 kilometres from Lahore.

ETPB chief Aamir Ahmed has directed the officials concerned to make all necessary arrangements for the event.

Pakistan opened the Kartarpur corridor on 09 November after Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated it in the presence of visiting Indian dignitaries like former premier Manmohan Singh, actor and BJP MP Sunny Deol and former cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.

According to the agreement between the two countries, every day 5,000 Indian Sikh pilgrims can visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.

Sikh events should always be open to all
Sikh Gurdwaras should always be open to all
Man in Blue

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/kartarpurs-gurdwara-in-pak-to-be-shut-for-non-sikhs-on-guru-gobind-singhs-birthday-2157389

Dawn – Pakistan rejects new Indian army chief’s ‘irresponsible statement on pre-emptive strikes across LoC

Naveed Siddiqui

Islamabad Federal Territory – Pakistan, 02 January 2020. Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the new Indian Army Chief Lt General M M Naravane’s “irresponsible statement” regarding “pre-emptive strikes” across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

In a press release, the Foreign Office (FO) said: “There should be no doubt about Pakistan’s resolve and readiness to thwart against any aggressive Indian move, inside its territory or AJ&K. No one should forget Pakistan’s befitting response to India’s Balakot misadventure.

“Despite India’s provocations, Pakistan will continue contributing to all efforts of promoting peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.”

General Naravane, who was appointed as India’s 28th army chief on Tuesday, barely hours after taking charge said that New Delhi “reserves the right to preemptively strike across the Line of Control (LoC)”, First Post reported.

According to the report, in an exclusive interview with the Press Trust of India, the newly appointed army chief said: “If Pakistan does not stop its policy of state-sponsored terrorism, we reserve the right to preemptively strike at the sources of terror threat and this intent has adequately been demonstrated in our response during surgical strikes and Balakot operation.”

General Naravane said a “strategy of resolute punitive response” has been evolved to tackle cross-border terrorism,” Hindustan Times added.

According to the Hindustan Times, General Naravane served as India’s vice-chief of the army prior to his new appointment. Additionally, he has served in various command and staff appointments in peace, field and “highly active counter-insurgency environments” in occupied Kashmir and the northeast, the report added.

He also headed the force’s Eastern Command and commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in occupied Kashmir and an infantry brigade on the eastern front.

General Naravane took over as the army chief after former army chief Gen Bipin Rawat was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a day before his superannuation.

Last month, Rawat had said that the situation at the restive LoC could “escalate any time”. In response, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor had termed Rawat’s remarks an “effort, as usual, to divert world attention from widespread protests” over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in India.

150 days of clampdown in occupied Kashmir

While rejecting the latest remarks from the newly-appointed Indian army chief, the FO added: “We deplore the continuing proclivity of Indian political as well as military leaders to fabricate facts with regard to terrorism or the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) as part of their attempts to mislead the world and with the possible intention of staging some false-flag operation.

“They would be well-advised to look inwards and curb the growing ‘saffron terror’, which is increasingly a matter of concern for the international community.”

The FO reaffirmed Pakistan’s “unflinching support and solidarity” with Kashmiris as the lockdown imposed by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir on 05 August 2019, crossed 150 days, with the security and communication clampdown also continuing in full force.

The press release said Pakistan will continue to raise the Kashmir cause on international forums.

“India’s farcical claims of normalcy returning to the situation in IOJ&K carry no credibility whatsoever.

We will continue to stress the importance of urgent and effective steps by the world community to address India’s state-terrorism against the Kashmiri people, who are demanding their legitimate right of self-determination as enshrined in the United National Security Council Resolutions,” the press release read.

The FO said India “must immediately” lift the lockdown and communications restrictions in occupied Kashmir, free all detainees, release senior Kashmiri leadership, remove all draconian laws, withdraw 900,000 security personnel and allow “unhindered access” to international humanitarian and human rights observers as well as the international media.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1525852/pakistan-rejects-new-indian-army-chiefs-irresponsible-statement-on-pre-emptive-strikes-across-loc