Tolo News – Afghans call for swift start to Intra-Afghan Talks

Nasir Salehi

Kabul – Afghanistan, 07 February 2020. Ghor and Herat residents said the war in Afghanistan only kills Afghans, and it must end.

Dozens of residents in the western provinces of Ghor and Herat at separate gatherings called for a swift start to the long-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations, which are expected to follow a US-Taliban peace deal.

US negotiators and Taliban members have held more than ten rounds of talks in the Gulf state of Qatar to broker a peace deal expected to eventually open the way for the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan and pave the way for an Afghan delegation to sit together with the Taliban and discuss a way forward.

Over the past few weeks, calls by Afghan activists as well as people in rural communities and urban cities have increased through different gatherings and social media platforms, all calling for a fast start to the intra-Afghan negotiations.

The process faces delays from the new demands made by the US representatives in Doha who want a commitment from the Taliban for a long-term reduction in violence or ceasefire. Also, there is much disagreement in Kabul about which delegates and what plan should be offered from the Afghan side in the coming intra-Afghan talks.

The participants of gatherings in Ghor and Herat, who have faced a rise in conflict in their provinces since last summer, said the bloodshed should end as it sacrifices only Afghans.

“As a young girl, I wish for a countrywide peace in Afghanistan so that the youth can get an education like in other countries and achieve their dreams,” Herat resident Freshta Sarwari said. “War has not yielded a result. It is better to sit together and achieve peace,” said Abdul Qadir Bahrami, a resident of Herat.

The Ghor gathering was attended by “hundreds of people,” according to multiple attendants of the event, and they commemorated the first anniversary of the death of Mohammad Ibrahim Malikzada, a Ghor lawmaker who passed away due to an illness in February 2019.

“The Ghor women want peace,” said Farida Naseri, a resident of Ghor. “We want an end to the bloodshed.”

“Peace is the only solution to Afghanistan’s problems,” said Ramazan Akhundzada, head of the Hajj and Religious Affairs Directorate of Ghor. “We call on the Afghan government, the warring sides and armed militants to address the people’s demand (for peace).”

Some religious scholars in the gathering called the ongoing war illegitimate and asked the warring sides to end their hostility.

“The two sides of the war are Muslims. In some cases, they are buried together in one place,” said Abdul Bari Qanit, a religious scholar.

“All Afghan citizens have realized that they are the main victims of the war; therefore, we do not want to be a tool for outsiders’ goals,” said Abdul Basir Danishyar, professor at Ghor University.

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/afghans-call-swift-start-intra-afghan-talks

Sikh24.com – Ban lifted on Muslims partaking of langar at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 07 February 2020. The management authority of Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib has lifted ban on Muslims for partaking langar at this historic Sikh shrine. Notably, this ban was imposed following complaints about violation of Sikh code of conduct when several Muslims were noticed partaking langar bareheaded.

Sharing the development with media, PSGPC president Satwant Singh informed that now all the non-Sikh pilgrims can also pay obeisance and partake langar at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib but they would have to cover their heads while entering into the Gurdwara premises.

Ban lifted on Muslims for partaking langar at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib

Den Haag – Korte Voorhout – Malieveld

Korte Voorhout – Malieveld
31 December 2019


Tram 15 and 16 to Nootdorp and Statenkwartier


Tram 15 and 16 to Den Haag Centraal and Wateringen


Tram 9 to Scheveningen Noord


Tram 15 and 16 to Den Haag Centraal and Wateringen


Tram 9 to Scheveningen Noord


Tram 9 to Vrederust

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

DNA India, From CAA defence to attack on opposition leaders: Highlights of PM Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha

In his previous address to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, he announced the constitution of trust to oversee the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Arijit Saha

New Delhi – India, 06 February 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Lok Sabha on Thursday in his response to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said if the Central Government had worked according to “the old ways and thought processes”, abrogation of Article 370, resolution of Ram Janmabhoomi issue and abolition of Triple Talaq would not have been possible.

“The people of India have not only changed the ‘Sarkar’ (government). They want the ‘Sarokar’ to be changed as well. If we had worked according to the old ways and thought processes, Article 370 would never have been history. Muslim women would have kept suffering due to Triple Talaq,” said Modi.

“If we worked as per the old ways, Ram Janmabhoomi issue would have remained unsolved. Kartarpur Sahib corridor would not be a reality. There would be no India-Bangladesh land agreement,” the Prime Minister said.

“The Honourable President has highlighted the vision for a New India. His address comes at a time when we enter the third decade of the century. Rashtrapati Ji’s address instills a spirit of hope and it presents a roadmap for taking the nation ahead in the times to come,” he added.

In his previous address to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, he announced the constitution of trust to oversee the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

Here are the highlights of his speech at the Lok Sabha:

  • Pandit Nehru himself was in favour of protecting minorities in Pakistan, I want to ask Congress, was Pandit
    Nehru communal? Did he want a Hindu Rashtra?: PM Modi on CAA
  • Does a party that keeps talking about secularism not remember 1984 and the anti-Sikh violence. It was shameful. In addition, they did not make efforts to punish the guilty: PM Modi
  • Those who have been removed from office by the people of India are now doing the unthinkable. They see citizens on the basis of their faith. We are different. We see everyone as an Indian: PM Modi
  • I want to clearly state, with the CAA coming, there will be no impact on any citizen of India, practising any faith: PM Modi
  • Much has been said about CAA, ironically by those who love getting photographed with the group of people who want ‘Tukde Tukde’ of India: PM Modi
  • Those who are talking about respect for the Constitution never even implemented it in Jammu and Kashmir for so many decades: PM Modi
  • There are people in this House who have suffered due to political violence in West Bengal. When they start speaking, it will make things uncomfortable for many associated with the Opposition parties: PM Modi
  • Among the things that will drive India’s progress is next-generation infrastructure. In the earlier days, infrastructure creation brought “economic opportunities” for a select few. Not any more.We have made this sector transparent and are working to boost connectivity: PM Modi
  • We are working on labour reforms and that too after consulting the labour unions: PM Modi
  • Who brought the Emergency? Who trampled over the Judiciary? Who has brought the most amendments to the Constitution?Who imposed Article 356 the most? Those who did the above need to get deeper knowledge of our Constitution: PM Modi launches attack on Congress party
  • Stand up India, Startup India, Mudra – they are adding prosperity in the lives of many. A substantial number of Mudra beneficiaries are women: PM
  • Our vision is-Greater investment, Better infrastructure, increased value addition, maximum job creation: PM
  • Driven by politics, some states are not allowing farmers to benefit from PM-Kisan Scheme. I appeal to them, please let there be no politics in farmer welfare. We all have to work together for the prosperity of farmers of India: PM.
  • The agriculture budget has risen 5 times during our Government’s tenure.PM-KISAN Samman Yojana is transforming the lives of many farmers. Several farmers have benefitted due to this. In this scheme, there are no middlemen and no extra file-work: PM
  • India can no longer wait for problems to remain unsolved. And, rightfully so. That is why our target is: speed and scale, determination and decisiveness, sensitivity and solution: PM Modi
  • If we worked as per the old ways then-Ram Janmabhoomi issue would have remained unresolved. Kartarpur Sahib corridor would not be made. There would be no India-Bangladesh land agreement: PM Modi
  • Citizens of India have not only changed the Sarkar. They want the ‘Sarokar’ to be changed as well. If we had worked according to old ways and thoughts then-Article 370 would never have been abrogated. Muslim women would have kept suffering due to Triple Talaq: PM Modi
  • President has highlighted the vision for a New India. His address comes at a time when we enter the third decade of the century. President’s address instills a spirit of hope and presents a roadmap for taking the country ahead in future: PM Modi
  • We have kept the fiscal deficit in check. Price rise is also under check and there is macro-economic stability: PM
  • It is due to the speed of this Government that in the last five years that 37 crore people got bank accounts,11 crore people got toilets in their homes,13 crore people got gas connections, 2 crore people got their own homes: PM

https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-from-caa-defence-to-attack-on-oppn-leaders-highlights-of-pm-modi-s-speech-in-lok-sabha-2812499

The Hindu – Government set to host another visit by foreign diplomats to J&K

Several EU envoys express willingness ahead of External Affairs Minister Jaishankar’s trip to Brussels

Suhasini Haidar

New Delhi – India, 08 February 2020. The government is making preparations to organise a second visit of diplomats, including several European Ambassadors to visit Srinagar and Jammu next week, sources confirmed here.

According to the sources, about 20 to 25 envoys from “different geographical regions” are being invited to join the delegation.

Unlike the last visit in January, when European Union (EU) members declined to travel, and asked to be sent as a combined group of 27 members, this time, several members of the EU have agreed to visit, sources said.

Meeting with EU heads

On Friday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met the EU Heads of Mission (HOMs) in South Block, where he is understood to have discussed his upcoming visit, the planned visit of envoys to Jammu and Kashmir as well as concerns against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which are likely to come up during his visit to Europe.

“We received a lot of positive feedback from the last visit,” said one official source, referring to the delegation, which included USA Ambassador Kenneth Juster, who travelled to Jammu and Kashmir on January 9-10.

“While all the Ambassadors expressed their concerns about issues like political detentions and Internet restrictions, they were able to see that there was normalcy on the roads, and the entire Union Territory is not under lockdown as they had expected,” the source added.

He explained that the government now intends to take diplomats to the Union Territory on a regular basis.

Other sources confirmed that logistical planning and security arrangements for the visit, which will repeat the schedule of the previous visit of the envoys, is being finalised. Helicopters will also be kept on standby, in case there are difficulties in road travel at any point.

Briefing by Army

The visit will include a briefing by Army officials, and meetings with civil society members and politicians chosen by the government.

Diplomatic sources said negotiations over the scope and schedule of the proposed visit have been on for the past month, and had run into issues over the specific demands by the European diplomats to meet detained former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah.

It is unlikely that these demands would be met this time either, as the government has just charged all of them under the stringent Public Safety Act.

Both the officials and diplomats said they would aim to avoid some of the controversies that cropped up during previous visits by the diplomats, as well as one by a delegation of MEPs to Kashmir in October 2019.

The visit would be timed just before the visit by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Germany for the Munich Security Conference next weekend (February 14-16). He will then travel to Brussels to meet with European Union (EU) officials on 17 February, where he will discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels for the EU-India summit on March 13.

On Friday, Mr Jaishankar met with the EU Heads of Mission (HOMs) in South Block, where he is understood to have discussed his upcoming visit, the planned visit of envoys to Jammu and Kashmir as well as concerns against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which are likely to come up during his visit to Europe.

Last month members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) held a debate on a resolution that was deeply critical of India for actions against the anti-CAA protestors, and the “risk of statelessness for millions” from a possible NRC survey. However, the MEPs agreed to hold off on voting the resolution until after visits by Mr Jaishankar and Mr Modi, who would meet them and engage with them on the issues involved.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-set-to-host-another-visit-by-foreign-diplomats-to-jk/article30766043.ece