The Hindustan Times – Ahmadiyya Muslim community condemns Nankana Sahib attack in Pakistan

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 07 January 2020. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community on Tuesday condemned the recent attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.

In a release issued here, the Ahmadiyyas said that according to Islam, it is wrong to cause harm to any place of worship of any religion. “The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in India expresses deep grief and stands united with Sikh brethren,” the release said.

Nearly 1.5 lakh Ahmadiyyas live in India, including more than 7,000 at Qadian, the birthplace of the sect’s founder, in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. Persecuted in Pakistan, the community is hopeful that the Indian government will include them under the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Qadian MLA Fatehjang Singh Bajwa and his brother and Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa have written to the Centre asking that Ahmadiyyas who fled Pakistan before 2014 be included in the CAA.

The BJP’s ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), has also urged the government to include Muslims in the CAA. “We have welcomed CAA as it is in favour of persecuted minorities such as Sikhs and Hindus, but communities such as Ahmadiyyas should also be brought in the fold of this Act as these Muslims are facing religious persecution (in Pakistan),” said SAD general secretary Daljit Singh Cheema.

Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh too has pointed to the exclusion of communities such as Ahmadiyya Muslims.

Dawn – Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against anyone, says DG ISPR

Karachi – Sindh – Pakistan, 05 January 2020. Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor on Sunday, while speaking to ARY News, said that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against anyone and will play its role to secure peace in the region.

Major Geneneral Ghafoor said the aforementioned sentiments had been expressed by both the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“Pakistan will not be party to anyone or anything but will be a partner of peace and peace alone,” he said, quoting Prime Minister Imran.

The director-general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in reply to a question regarding the killing of Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike on Friday, said the regional situation had been altered and Pakistan would play its role in helping peace prevail.

Major General Soleimani was killed on Friday morning in a US strike on Baghdad’s international airport, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries. Shortly after, General Bajwa in a call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had emphasised the “need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement” following the killing of Soleimani.

Discussing the phone call between the army chief and Pompeo, Ghafoor said General Bajwa had said two things.

Firstly, he said that the region was improving from very bad conditions, adding that the Afghan reconciliation process is very important for this improvement. He added that Pakistan would play its role in this and wants the focus to remain on the issue.

Secondly, he said the army chief had told Pompeo that tensions in the region should be reduced. He said all relevant countries should move forward with constructive practices and dialogue. “Pakistan will support all peaceful efforts and hopes the region doesn’t go towards another war,” he quoted the army chief as saying.

Responding to a question regarding rumours that Pakistan would participate in the war by supporting the United States against Iran, Ghafoor said such rumours were circulating on social media. He clarified, however, that this was not the first call [between Pompeo and Gen Bajwa].

“From the Afghan reconciliation process to the regional security, the army chief has an important role,” he said, adding that the Foreign Office had also issued a statement. The Foreign Office via a statement had also expressed “deep concern” over the tensions, urging all sides to exercise restraint.

“My request to the people and media would be to only pay attention to statements from an authentic source,” he said, adding that they should not pay attention to “propaganda” and “rumours of enemies of the country”.

“India is playing the lead role in spreading these rumours,” he said, adding that he had read an Indian news article that Pakistan had ditched Iran and the resumption of Pakistan’s participation in a US military training and educational programme.

“In our bilateral relations with America, training cooperation was suspended. For the past four to five months, America has been talking about restoring this because training engagement in military to military cooperation goes on.

“Linking something that has been going on for quite a few months to this incident is part of that propaganda campaign.”

The army’s spokesman said that peace had been achieved in Pakistan after a lot of sacrifices, adding that the nation will play its role for peace in the region.

“We will not be part of any effort to ruin this peace,” he said.

Path India on will lead to its own destruction

Speaking about the new Indian army chief’s threatening statements against Pakistan, Major General Ghafoor said that Lt General Manoj Mukund Naravane had been newly installed as the army chief and is “busy trying to make a place for himself” but is not new to the institution itself.

“He knows full well the situation in the region and the capability of the Pakistan army. “He was part of the Indian force on 27 February as well. So he’s not new.”

Major General Ghafoor expressed hope that General Naravane “will no longer let go of reason”. “The Pakistan army knows how to defend the country and India also knows this,” he said. The army spokesperson said that Pakistan desires peace in the region but will make no comprises when it comes to safeguarding its security.

“The Indian army chief should, instead of giving such statements, end the clampdown in occupied Kashmir, end oppression there, and play his role in ending the ongoing tyranny in India due to the Hindutva thought,” said Major General Ghafoor.

He said that the path India is on “will lead to its own destruction”.

The Tribune – India summons Pakistan Charge d’affairs over Nankana Sahib incident, killing of Sikh man

New Delhi – India, 06 January 2019. India on Monday summoned Pakistan’s Chargé d’affairs Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest over desecration of the Nankana Sahib gurudwara and killing of a Sikh man in Peshawar.

The External Affairs Ministry said the diplomat was conveyed that Pakistan should ensure safety, security and welfare of members of minority communities.

“Pakistan’s Chargé d’affaires Syed Haider Shah was summoned today to lodge strong protest at the recent acts of vandalism and desecration of the holy Gurdwara Sri Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib and the targeted killing of minority Sikh community member in Peshawar,” the MEA said.

Den Haag (NL) – Zuiderpark

Den Haag NL
24 December 2019

Ruddy shelducks (Casarcas)
standing right next to the tram tracks

Now both looking in the same direction
Waiting for the tram ?

Tram stop Zuiderpark
Tram 9 to Scheveningen Noord

Tram stop Zuiderpark
Tram 9 to Vrederust

Tram 9 to Scheveningen just departing

View in the direction of central Den Haag

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Sikh Federation UK – Pakistan authorities must respond to clear threats of violence and ethnic cleansing towards Sikhs in Nankana Sahib

London – UK, 04 January 2020. Sikhs across the globe have been deeply upset with the mob scenes, pelting of stones, anti-Sikh slogans and incitement of violence towards Sikhs and their religious institutions in the vicinity of Sri Nankana Sahib that took place yesterday.

Whilst local law enforcement agencies disbanded the mob, arrested some of the protesters and took control of the situation and the main instigator has now apologised, the Pakistan authorities must take further action due to the inflammatory nature of the hate remarks and threats of violence and ethnic cleansing towards the Sikh minority.

The Pakistan authorities should investigate how a personal matter that started with a police raid on Thursday was manipulated so quickly to arouse ant-Sikh emotions and find and deal with all the instigators that may have planned this incident for some time.

In November, Sri Nankana Sahib the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev Ji was lit up to celebrate his 550th birth anniversary.

Imran Khan, the Pakistan Prime Minister was credited with negotiating an agreement to open the 2.9-mile Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, allowing Sikh pilgrims to travel between Gurdwara Der Baba Nanak and Kartarpur Sahib on other side of the border. Relations between Muslim-majority Pakistan and the international Sikh community were then at a historic high.

In the current climate the Pakistani authorities will want to take a tough stand against anti-Sikh activities as isolated ugly incidents like this will be fully exploited by Indian politicians to undo all the good work in recent months and deflect attention away from the anti-Sikh actions of the right-wing Indian authorities, including the recent demolition of Mangu Mutt Sahib in Orissa.

Sikhs across the globe who regularly visit Pakistan have in the last 48 hours been writing and approaching the Pakistan authorities to provide reassurances.

We want the Government of Pakistan to not only ensure the safety of the minority Sikh community and Sikh Yatris but also to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the sanctity of Gurdwaras in Pakistan.

Harnek Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)