The Asian Age – India condemns ‘targeted killing’ of Pakistan Sikh

New Delhi – India, 06 January 2020. On the heels of the vandalism at the historic Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistani Punjab on Friday, India on Sunday strongly condemned the killing of a Sikh man at Peshawar and called upon Pakistan “to stop prevaricating and take immediate action to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of these heinous acts”.

New Delhi also asked Islamabad to “act in defence of their own minorities instead of preaching sermons about it to other countries”.

According to media reports, a 25-year-old Sikh man, identified as Ravinder Singh, was shot dead in Peshawar by an unidentified man. Ravinder Singh was reportedly a resident of Shangla district at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He had returned home recently from Malaysia and had gone to Peshawar to shop for his wedding, one of his friends told an Indian TV channel. The victim was reportedly the brother of Pakistani Sikh journalist Harmeet Singh.

In a statement, the MEA said, “India strongly condemns the targeted killing of minority Sikh community member in Peshawar that follows the recent despicable vandalism and desecration of the holy Gurdwara Sri Janamasthan at Nankana Sahib and the unresolved case of abduction, forced conversion and marriage of a Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur.”

The MEA added, “India calls upon the Government of Pakistan to stop prevaricating and take immediate action to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of these heinous acts. The Government of Pakistan should act in defence of their minorities instead of preaching sermons about it to other countries.”

India had on Friday lashed out at the “vandalism” in Nankana Sahib and had “strongly condemned these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place”.

India had also asked Pakistan “to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the members of the Sikh community”.

The Tribune – He failed to fulfil his duty: Akalis

Chandigarh/Sangrur – Panjab – India, 07 January 2020. The SAD Legislature Party on Tuesday condemned Parminder Dhindsa for “choosing his family before the party”, while resigning from his post without consulting the leadership.

The legislature party, which met on Tuesday under new leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, resolved that it was unfortunate that despite the fact that Parminder Dhindsa had been given “so much honour” in the party, he had failed to fulfil his duty as leader of an Opposition party.

Meanwhile, senior Akali leaders of Sangrur and Barnala districts on Tuesday demanded the expulsion of the Dhindsa duo from the party. They sent a resolution to the party chief Sukhbir Badal to expel rebel Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Dhindsa and his MLA son Parminder Dhindsa for anti-party activities.

During a meeting at Nankana Sahib, Iqbal Singh Jhunda, district chief of SAD, alleged, “Though the Dhindsa duo are openly challenging Sukhbir, both are in SAD and have refused to resign from the party. It’s causing confusion among workers and leaders. To end this confusion, they should be expelled from the party.”

Den Haag (NL) – Melis Stokelaan

Den Haag NL
Melis Stokelaan
24 December 2019

Junction Moerweg Melis Stokelaan

Melis Stokelaan

Melis Stokelaan


Tramstop Anna Bijns
Tram 9 to Vrederust

Tramstop Anna Bijns
Tram 9 to Scheveningen Noord

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Pieter Friedrich – New Hampshire: Tulsi Gabbard faces foreign interference allegations

Gabbard challenged at Hanover town hall and Londonderry town council

Hanover – New Hampshire – USA, 07 January 2020. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is facing allegations of foreign interference in her past congressional campaigns as she crisscrosses New Hampshire hosting daily town halls for her presidential campaign.

On Sunday evening, reported The Hill, Gabbard was questioned at a Hanover, NH town hall over “whether she had financially supported India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Challenged over a picture of her wearing a scarf with the BJP’s logo, she responded: “Somebody put something around my neck and snapped a picture without my knowing what it was. That’s what happened in the picture.”

“Ignorance is bliss,” remarked questioner Jada Bernard afterwards. “I would love to take her at her word that she was naive enough to take that picture with a BJP lobbyist while wearing a BJP scarf, but it wasn’t the first event she spoke at while wearing the BJP scarf throughout.

She dismissed me as a religious bigot, but argumentum ad hominem is a fallacious argument directed at the messenger instead of the topic at hand, which is BJP events, money, and ideology. It doesn’t matter who I am.

Google the info, not me. I’m not running for president. I’m a barber.” On Monday evening, Bernard was joined by South Asian affairs analyst Pieter Friedrich at the Londonderry, NH town council meeting.

In public remarks to the council, Friedrich referenced Gabbard’s presence at an Overseas Friends of the BJP banquet in 2014, saying, “The BJP’s Foreign Affairs Cell Chief discussed her campaign for re-election to a second term.

The foreign politician told the American congresswoman: ‘Your victory later this year is a foregone conclusion.’ Then Gabbard posed for pictures wearing a scarf with the BJP logo.”

Bernard told the council, “We all heard how Hillary Clinton accused Tulsi Gabbard of being a Russian asset.

But Tulsi doesn’t want you to know that Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a national media watch group, called the Russia accusations a ‘distraction’ from the ‘reality that Gabbard’s most troubling attribute is her documented connection to the far-right Hindu nationalist, or Hindutva, movement known as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of India’s ruling BJP party.’”

Discussing the influence of the Ku Klux Klan while he was growing up in Louisiana, Bernard added, “Today, the Klan is a widely despised group in America which holds no official political power.

But the KKK of India has held power there for the past five years. India’s KKK is called the RSS. The RSS is responsible for lynchings, assassinations, bombings, and pogroms against Christians, Muslims, and anyone who stands up against its xenophobic agenda.”

Video of the Londonderry remarks by Friedrich and Bernard as well as Bernard’s question at the Hanover town hall have gone viral on Twitter.

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.

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The Hindu – Exclusive: Five months later government invites diplomat delegation to Jammu and Kashmir

Officials have already contacted many of the interlocutors expected to meet with the delegation, and the logistics of the visit will be organised by the Army.

Suhasini Haidar & Peerzada Ashiq

New Delhi/Srinagar – India, 07 January 2020. Five months after its decision on Article 370, the government has invited the first group of Delhi-based diplomats to travel to Srinagar and assess the situation there, and is now awaiting a response from them.

Unlike the controversial visit of the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) delegation in October, which was invited to India by a British businesswoman and a think tank in Delhi, this visit is being organised completely by the government, including the Ministry of External Affairs, Home Affairs and Defence.

According to sources in Delhi and Srinagar, security, hotel and travel arrangements are in place for the visit that is expected as early as this week.

The Hindu has learnt that the invitation has been extended to about 20 Ambassadors and senior diplomats from the European Union, Gulf countries and others to visit Kashmir, and government agencies have organised for them to meet with various civil society groups, journalists, sarpanchs, municipal councillors as well as local businessmen there.

Officials have already contacted many of the interlocutors expected to meet with the delegation, and the logistics of the visit will be organised by the Army. Several interactions are scheduled at the Badamibagh Cantonment area.

This handout photograph taken on October 28, 2019 and released by India’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi posing for a group photograph with members of the European Parliament in New Delhi.

However, it is unclear whether the first batch of visitors will go to Jammu and Kashmir as originally planned on 09 January, and whether all invitees, particularly those from the European Union countries will attend.

According to diplomats from at least four of the countries invited, none of whom agreed to be identified, the invitation has been discussed at a meeting of all European Union (EU) missions in Delhi, but they have not yet confirmed their acceptance.

“The proposal [from the government] is being discussed by EU members. We have decided that our response will be a joint one, common to us all,” said one of the diplomats.

When asked why there has been no confirmation for the programme as yet, a diplomat told The Hindu that the group of Ambassadors were not satisfied to undertake the visit on the same terms as the MEPs delegation were taken on, and wanted more access to their own contacts on the ground as well as a wider range of areas to visit.

“Our response will depend on how much flexibility the government shows and whether there will be a balance of views taken into account.” After the last visit, at least one British MEP had expressed his unhappiness over not being allowed to speak freely to locals.

Officials said a wider range of interlocutors had indeed been planned, and different agencies had been asked to prepare lists well in advance for the diplomats’ visit, which had been due to take place shortly after the MEP delegation in October, but couldn’t be held.

Many of the embassies in Delhi, including the United Kingdom, United States and Germany had expressed their displeasure over the fact that their diplomats had not been allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir after 05 August, despite repeated requests, whereas more than 20 MEPs, mostly belonging to opposition Right-wing parties in Europe had been taken there, and had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar as well.