World Sikh News – Release Prisoner of Conscience 76-year-old Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom

Published 2 weeks ago – Jagmohan Singh

Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, 76-year-old Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association President is in prison since 5 August when India decided to take control of Kash­mir. Incarcerated earlier in Central Jail Agra and now in Delhi’s Tihar Jail, this veteran lawyer has dealt with 15,000 habeas corpus petitions, making him perhaps the only lawyer in South Asia to do so.

His steadfast stance on the right to self-determination for Kashmir has rattled the Indian government and he is being harassed for his views, making him a Prisoner of conscience. The Legal Forum for Oppressed Voices of Kashmir (LFOVK) in an online petition to the United Nations seeks his release. WSN urges you to vote and share.

Mian Abdul Qayoom is a name every home in Kashmir is familiar with. Virtually, every home has had a brush with the state machinery and has had the need to take the services of this veteran advocate, who has been the president of the High Court Bar of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court for as many as 21 times.

The Legal Forum for Oppressed Voices of Kashmir (LFOVK) urges political activists who support the right to self-determination, conscientious individuals, civil society and human rights defenders to endorse the on­line petition seeking his release.

The petition addressed to the United Nations is a sincere effort to raise the voice for a leading counsel whose detention has not invoked the attention of the Bar Associations throughout India to stand up for him and denounce his detention.

While Indian civil liberties or lawyer bodies have not expressed concern over Qayoom’s detention so far, in November last year, Richard Atkins QC, Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales and Schona Jolly SC, Chair of the BHRC wrote to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over the arrest of Qayoom.

The rationale given by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court while dismissing a plea for Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom’s release is noteworthy. Presiding judge Justice Tashi Rabstan described personal liberty as the most cherished freedoms guaran­teed under the Indian Constitution in Article 22, but with a caveat.

He cited observations made by the Supreme Court in ‘The Secretary to the Government, Public (law and order-F) and another vs Nabila and another (2015)’ case, which said, “Where individual liberty comes into conflict with the interest of the security of the state or maintenance of public order, then the liberty of the individual must give way to the larger interest of the nation.”

“We urge political activists who support the right to self-determination, concientious individuals, civil society and human rights defend­ers to endorse the online petition seeking release of Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom’s” release.”

The Legal Forum for Oppressed Voices of Kashmir (LFOVK)

Not only this, the court said, “the detention of the person is not to punish him for what he has done but to intercept and prevent him from doing it.” For how long? Is his health and life of any concern? Can the court order the shuffling of a 76-year-old prisoner from one prison to another even after a heart attack? Is the Indian administration, executive and judiciary following the norms of criminal jurisprudence and India’s obligations under various UN treaties and conventions in this case or in such other political detentions?

Qayoom is known for his political views and has been a staunch critic of the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A.

LFOVK in the petition says, “Since the insurgency in 1990, he has been arrested and incarcerated in different Indian prisons. In 1995, he was shot at by an unknown gunman resulting in serious spinal injuries leading to nine surgeries through which he recovered but with a limp. With one of his kidneys also removed, he survives on one.”

He is sick suffering from multiple ailments: diabetes, arthritis, hypertension and prostate issues and thus needs urgent medical attention and regular care.

The petition has added that on 29 January, while in detention in the Central Jail Agra, he suffered a major heart attack and was rushed to S.N. Medical College Agra.

Subsequently, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed that he be shifted to Tihar Jail in Delhi. He has now been detained under the draconian Public Safety Act of 1978 which gives arbitrary powers to Indian administrators to detain individuals with­out any judicial process or trial for up to 2 years.

Recently this law has been clamped on two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir: Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. It has also been used to mistreat, abuse, victimize and suppress activists, journalists, political, human rights, lawyers and common people of Kashmir. Since 05 August, a few thousand Kashmiri nationalists have been detained under this Act.

India’s National Inestigation Agency, NIA, has harassed him in terror-funding cases but all allegations have proved base­less.

“A senior advocate is behind bars and the silence of the lawyer fraternity is not a good omen for respect for human rights. Lawyers and activists will do well to remember what Martin Niemöller said.”

Navkiran Singh, General Secretary, Lawyers for Human Rights International

Spearheading the campaign for the release of political prisoners, LFOVK, an independent organisation that advocates nationally and internationally the Right of Self-Determination and respect for human rights in Occupied Kashmir through legal research, documentation and capacity-building to address, under international law, the violations of individual and collective rights of Kashmiris.

To protect and assist the victims of conflict, LFOVK seeks to ensure compliance with the obligations of International Human Rights Laws and International Humanitarian Laws during coflicts.

Lawyers for Human Rights International general secretary Advocate Navkiran Singh of the Panjab and Haryana High Court, who has been urging advocates and activists to sign the on­line petiion seeking Qayoom’s release says, “A senior advocate is behind bars and the silence of the lawyer fraternity is not a good omen for respect for human rights. Lawyers and activists will do well to remember what Martin Niemöller said.”

Sign the petition at !

Release Prisoner of Conscience 76-year-old Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom – Dhadrianwala invites Akal Takht Jathedar for questioning him over TV channel

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 February 2020. Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwala has invited officiating Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh for questioning him on a TV channel. A short video of Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwala in this regard has been posted by Facebook Page named “Parmeshar Dwar Gurmat Parchar Sewa Mission”.

In this video, Dhadrianwala has asked Akal Takht Jathedar to take the first 40 minutes of an hour long session to question him while demanding another 20 minutes for him.

“They have not delivered justice to anyone till date nor do I have any such hope from them,” Dhadrianwala could be listened in more than one long short video.

As per the information updated by FB Page, Dhadrianwala’s full video will be released today in which he is going to make a challenge to Damdami Taksal’s Amrik Singh Ajnala.

Dhadrianwala invites Akal Takht Jathedar for questioning him over TV channel

Deurne: Bremweide and Ruggeveldlaan

Deurne Bremweide
09 Januaru 2020

Meadows and Woodlands

09 Januaru 2020

De Lijn Tram 5 Wijnegem – Linkeroever vv

Frequent service

De Lijn Tram 5 to Wijnegem

De Lijn Tram 5 to Wijnegem

Tram stop Ruggeveldlaan
A pleasant walk through the park away from the Gurdwara

Next stop : Frans Van Dijck

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Pieter Friedrich – Cultural Malware: The Rise of the RSS

Origin story of Nazi-inspired paramilitary that rules India

Los Angeles – California – USA, 19 February 2020. “The violence in which the RSS, and the Hindu nationalist movement it has cultivated, is implicated includes assassinations, bombings, and even pogroms against Christians, Muslims, and anyone who stands up against its xenophobic agenda,” said Pieter Friedrich at a 19 February 2020 seminar.

Speaking at the University of California, Los Angeles, Friedrich detailed the importance of the RSS in modern India, the historical circumstances of its origins, and what its founders believed. “It’s no surprise that the RSS is responsible for such shocking violence considering its ideological ties to European fascism,” he said.

“The correlation between fascism in the West and Hindu nationalism in the East traces all the way back to the paramilitary’s origins in the 1920s,” he stated.

Describing how Hitler published Mein Kampf and founded the SS in the same year that the RSS was founded, he claimed that the group’s founders “took ideological inspiration from, and even engaged in direct contact with, the rising fascist movements in Italy and Germany.”

Noting that a former US ambassador to India had called the RSS the “traditional muscle power” of the ruling BJP, he explained, “Its role is much broader than that, however. Today, the RSS doesn’t just provide boots on the ground to help win elections, it pulls the strings of the party’s elected officials.”

Friedrich pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and 75 percent of the BJP-controlled Central Government’s Union Cabinet hail from the RSS. “Since December 2019, the streets of India have been engulfed by mass protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens,” he said.

“Essentially, these are protests against the implementation of the RSS’s agenda.”

“Under the RSS regime in India today, the fascist vision of the founding fathers of the Hindu nationalist movement is swiftly being implemented with deadly consequences and, the longer that the RSS rules the roost, the deadlier those consequences will be,” concluded Friedrich.

An author and activist who specializes in analysis of South Asian affairs, Friedrich has spearheaded demands for resignation of Western diplomats who met with the RSS. Last year, thousands signed a petition demanding that Ambassador Walter Lindner, Germany’s envoy to India, resign after laying flowers at the feet of a statue of the RSS’s first leader.

“Germany must in no way demonstrate any tolerance for fascism, especially for fascist movements like the RSS which have a demonstrated record of admiring and seeking to model themselves after Nazi Germany and other affiliated fascist movements,” stated the petition.

In September 2019, when Modi visited Houston, Texas for a rally dubbed “Howdy, Modi,” Friedrich coined the response: “Adios, Modi.”

“The RSS developed with inspiration from the Nazis,” he said at the Houston City Council days before the event. “And it produced Narendra Modi. Modi’s hands are stained with blood. Those who shake his hand in welcome cannot wash their hands of complicity in his crimes.”

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

Dawn – India vs Pakistan

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

Op/Ed, 21 February 2020. Earlier this week, while wrapping up the high-profile case of peaceful protestors arrested and charged with sedition in the federal capital in late January, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah asserted the inviolability of citizens’ constitutional rights and made the pointed remark: “This is Pakistan, not India”.

In truth, the CJ was commenting less on India than on the imperative of constitutional courts in Pakistan defending the social contract, and political dissidents in particular, from state excess. Our democracy is, at best, fragile. Superior courts have often sided with the establishment, and military dictators in particular.

The proceedings in the said case, then, set an important precedent for whose side constitutional courts should take in times to come.

Yet the reference to India did not go unnoticed. Narendra Modi’s BJP is increasingly turning India into a theatre of the absurd, approximating the most draconian regimes history has known. The political executive, and, in some cases, superior courts, are constantly running roughshod over citizen’s rights.

Police and paramilitaries are making a habit of beating up, arresting and disappearing ordinary people. Right-wing vigilante mobs appear to have license to attack vulnerable populations and anti-government protestors at will.

In both India and Pakistan, these dark times, and the chances are that things could get darker still, also represent an unprecedented opportunity for progressive constituencies on both sides of the border to close ranks, not only to arrest the current wave of authoritarianism, but overturn the entire narrative of enmity and distrust that has persisted since soon after the British partitioned the subcontinent.

These dark times also represent an unprecedented opportunity

India and Pakistan are not the only states in our world to have come into being on the back of European colonial rule and cultivated state nationalisms to the detriment of the majority of their people. There are many adjacent states in Africa, for instance, which have been at loggerheads since formal independence. Think Ethiopia and Eritrea, for instance.

But India and Pakistan are literally home to one-fifth of the world’s population, the subcontinent is more at risk of climate disasters than any other region and, perhaps most significantly, both countries are experiencing massive youth bulges with access to an increasingly digitalised public sphere unprecedented in size and scope.

It is of course true that both countries have different postcolonial histories. Many observers see Pakistan as a praetorian state in which the military establishment has remained the arbiter of the polity virtually since its inception. India, on the other hand, is viewed as a more functional bourgeois state with deeper democratic foundations in the trenches of civil society, including educational institutions and media.

Yet these stylised narratives gloss over the shared legacies of colonialism, most notably the thana, katcheri and patwari. Moreover, everyday politics in both countries is heavily structured by entrenched caste, religious, gender and class faultiness that make political parties outlets for patronage rather than carriers of universal programmatic change.

Perhaps most significantly, in both countries, the coercive apparatus of the state has brutalised its peripheries.

It requires deep introspection for ordinary people on both sides to transcend nationalist proclamations of ‘our’ country being better than ‘their’ country. We Pakistanis have always struggled to do so due to the state’s foundations, official historiographies of the unitary Muslim ‘nation’ and the institutionalised power of the religious right.

The rise of the RSS to state power in India has made it even easier for hawks on our side of the border to peddle an ‘us versus them’ narrative as Muslims in India become the most prominent target of the Hindutva project.

Indian progressives also face an uphill battle to stem the tide of hateful nationalist rhetoric. The universities and media entities that housed the dissidents of Indian democracy are being flushed out by mobs. Meanwhile, social media, as we know in this country as well, gives progressive voices an outlet, but also ample opportunity for right-wing hawks to coalesce around simplistic and hateful slogans.

Yet to reduce the current conjuncture to just doom and gloom is to ignore what is qualitatively different about it. Young people can recognise the ‘other’ and the parallels between our polities in ways that were arguably impossible in the past. New forms of solidarity are emerging in Pakistan and India between central regions and peripheries, and, increasingly, across the borders of both states as well.

It may be a long haul, but there is hope yet that ‘India vs Pakistan’ eventually gives way to a shared future beyond militarism, establishments and hate.

The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.