Tolo News – Update: 3 Killed, 8 Wounded in Suicide Attack in Kabul

The attack occured near a special operations unit facility in PD7.

Kabul – Afghanistan, 29 April 2020. At least three civilians were killed and eight others were wounded in a suicide attack close to the gate of the special operations unit in Kabul city on Wednesday morning, the Afghan Commandos Special Unit said.

The attack took place in the Rishkhor area in PD7 of Kabul city, a security source told TOLOnews.

The Afghan Commandos Special Unit said that the victims have been transferred to the hospital by Afghan commandos.

The Ministry of Interior confirmed the explosion in the city but did not offer details.

No group including the Taliban has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. – All the pilgrims were checked three times by government medical staff at Hazoor Sahib

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 30 April 2020. While the Punjab government is continuously reporting positive cases among the pilgrims returned from Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib, Hazoor Sahib based Kaar Sewa sect head Baba Balwinder Singh has disclosed that all the pilgrims were checked three times by the government medical teams during their stay in Nanded but none of them was reported positive.

“The medical teams sent by Corporation, under the patronage of Commissioner, individually checked each pilgrim in their rooms, but no one was found infected of corona virus,” he said.

He has appealed the media staff to refrain from airing negative content about Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib and Gurdwara Sri Langar Sahib as everything there was fine.

“Anyone spreading negative content about Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib would be answerable to Guru Sahib,” he added.

VIDEO: All the pilgrims were checked three times by government medical staff at Hazoor Sahib

Blaarmeersen – Watersportbaan

19 March 2020

Beautiful fresh ‘spring green’

Path parallel to the Watersportbaan

Moss (in our language simply mos)

Trees and shrubs with fresh new leaves

19 March 2020

Speciaal voor mijn goede vriend Roel Peeters

And another one for Roel

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

World Sikh Parliament to alert world leaders amid exposure of Indian intelligence operations

London – UK, 29 April 2020. The humiliating exposure this week of a long-running major Indian intelligence operation in Canada will embarrass India’s spy agencies but, according to leading Sikh organisations, this should serve as another reminder to countries across the world that host Sikh diaspora communities to beware such unscrupulous activities.

Bribing foreign government officials to toe the Indian government line, infiltrating Sikh organisations (including Gurdwara management committees), and using paid media organisations to put out propaganda has long been the modus operandi of agencies such as India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), in their unrelenting effort to counter the Sikh struggle for self-determination.

Similar methods have been used to silence the Kashmiri freedom struggle. However, a number of high-profile cases have shone a spotlight on these activities and, now that the targeting of government officials has been proven, it is time the international community took action to protect their own governmental systems as well as Sikhs residing in the affected countries.

Canadian Newspaper “Global News” has published the article by journalist Steward Bell highlighting Federal immigration proceedings in which an Indian, who has admitted he was “asked by the IB and RAW to perform various functions”.

He allegedly met Indian intelligence more than 25 times over six years, most recently in May 2015, a month after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Canada.

A Canadian official wrote to him saying “You stated that you were asked by RAW to covertly influence Canadian government representatives and agencies on behalf of the Indian government”.

The letter continues “You stated that the guidance from RAW included that you were to provide financial assistance and propaganda material to politicians in order to exert influence over them”.

The article notes that India has long sought to pressure Ottawa over the activism of Sikhs in Canada in advocating independence for India’s Sikh minority.

It also points out that, whilst the Canadian government was not providing direct comment on that specific case, the Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s office said the government was “concerned when any country shows destabilizing behavior, including interference in other countries’ democratic systems.”

In a separate case Canada also reportedly recently banned an Ottawa company, with strong Indian links, from work related to the military or national security.

Official documents show that that Canadian officials wrote to the company’s president saying: “This investigation has determined that since approximately 2000, you have had consistent contact with the Indian High Commission in Ottawa, including elements of the Indian government involved in information and intelligence collection activities in Canada”

These cases follow closely on the heels of the conviction of two Indians by a German court earlier this year for spying on Sikh and Kashmiri groups in return for substantial payments by RAW. Further details of that case were published by the BBC.

Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, Coordinator of UN-NGO Council of World Sikh Parliament said “I have myself seen many incidents of Indian agencies interfering in America’s democratic process.

He gave examples of emails sent by Indian organizations against the raising of the Sikh national flag, efforts by the Indian Consulate in New York calling library in Norwich, Connecticut to remove a Sikh Genocide Memorial, Indian government agents emailing senators not to pass Bill in Connecticut for recognition of “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” and their attempts to intervene in our Gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship).

Khalsa said “Due to the unacceptable and persistent interference in Sikh affairs by Indian officials, their entry (in an official capacity) in to Gurdwaras throughout the Diaspora has been banned.” That ban hit India’s underhand activities hard.

Ranjit Singh Srai, Coordinator of Sikh Self Determination Council of World Sikh Parliament, shared the Sikh experience in United Kingdom: “There have been decades of nefarious clandestine activity of this kind by Indian agencies and their paid stooges in the UK, but these recent official cases go beyond anecdotal significance.

Aside from the more recent Canadian and German cases, a 2018 Ofcom ruling in the UK showed how blatant propaganda, against those advocating Sikh independence, by a broadcaster with strong Indian connections broke UK broadcasting rules”.

Ranjit Singh adds: “The Indian lobby has been hard at work in the UK to interfere in the UK Sikh community’s determined campaign for separate recognition and monitoring of Sikhs here as an ethnic group, for the specific purposes of relevant UK law and practice, even though India as no conceivable legitimacy to do so.

Further, India has, especially since 2018, been actively putting pressure on UK authorities to ban Sikh protests outside the Indian High Commission in London, seemingly ignorant of the fact that the right to protest is a fundamental aspect of the democratic framework in this country”.

Sikh organisations worldwide have welcomed the exposure of such Indian interference in Sikh affairs and are following up by issuing advisories to governments requesting that they take effective measures to stamp out this unprincipled and unacceptable practice.

Issued By:
Manpreet Singh
Hardyal Singh
General secretaries World Sikh Parliament

The Hindu – As Punjab relaxes curfew, confusion prevails among shop owners sans clear instructions

Vikas Vasudeva

Kharar – Panjab – India, 30 April 2020. Though shop owners in Kharar town asserted that curfew has been relaxed, the district authorities are yet to issue formal orders

After Punjab permitted opening of shops in a staggered way on rotation for four hours every morning from April 30, a state of confusion was seen among shop owners in many parts of the State.

Several shops in the local markets in Kharar town of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar district were open, and though the owners asserted that “curfew has been relaxed”, the district authorities are yet to issue formal orders.

Attending to customers, Devinder Pal, owner of the Pal Boot House, said that after most owners opened their shops in his vicinity, he too did so. “I heard yesterday that the government announced relaxation in curfew from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and, therefore, I have opened my shop.

I am not aware that shops are to be opened on rotation basis or after taking permission. If the administration asks me to shut my shop, I’ll do that,” said Mr Pal.

Supporting the government’s move to ease the curfew, Mr Pal said the decision was welcome and the relaxation should continue.

“A few customers came as soon as I opened the shop. For over a month, the business had been at a standstill. I have already suffered losses running into thousands of rupees. How long can one continue to suffer losses.”

Across the road, a man running a dry-cleaning shop and who did not want to disclose his name, said the government should give clear instruction about the relaxations. “There’s a confusion among people about the curfew relaxations. Administration should make public announcements about the situation to clear the confusion,” he said.

Inside the town, at the Gandhi Bazar, most of the shops including those of utensil products, footwear, cloth merchants were open in the morning. Moti Lal, a proprietor of a footwear shop, said most of the shops were open since morning after government’s announcement.

“This will help to get our business back on track. As the lock-down is prolonging, it’s getting difficult to earn a livelihood. For how many days can I sustain on savings?” he said.

Endorsing Mr Lal, the owner of an adjacent watch repair shop said: “This relaxation was urgently needed. I hope the confusion would be cleared soon and we would be able run our business again,” he said, but sought anonymity.

At the construction site of the “Balongi-Khanpur flyover’’ project in Kharar, workers were happy after project’s work started. “I was asked to return back to work at the construction site after many days. I am happy I will start making some money again,” said a worker.