The News – Civilian would have been declared traitor for co-authoring book with Indian counterpart: Rabbani

Islamabad – Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 25 May 2018. Veteran PPP leader and former Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday said if any civilian had co-authored a book with an Indian counterpart he would have been declared a traitor, referring to “The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and The Illusion of Peace” co-authored by former ISI and RAW chiefs.

Speaking in the Senate, he said it was surprising to see that on one hand Pak-Indo relations are at their worst and on the other hand opening of a book co-authored by former spymasters of both the countries is taking place.

Authored by former ISI chief Assad Durrani and former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) A S Dulat, the book discusses important issues between the two nations.

It also sheds light on Kargil Operation, Abbottabad Operation against Osama bin Laden, arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed, Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani.

He asked whether Assad Durani had sought permission from defence minister before writing the book.

According to Geo News, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has sought response from Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir.


The Tribune – Toronto Blast – Diaspora left shaken, ‘never expected this’

Varinder Singh, Tribune News Service

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 25 May 2018. The first-ever IED blast in the peaceful Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has left the Punjab diaspora and others in a state of shock.

The GTA and its suburbs, Brampton, Etobiko and Mississauga, have thus far been considered peaceful. Mississauga has a large Muslim population with Indians, particularly Punjabis, co-existing with Canadians and Pakistanis for decades.

“None of us had ever expected this kind of an incident at a place considered safe for all. We have never witnessed or heard of communal tension here,” Manan Gupta, a Brampton-based community activist told The Tribune over the phone.

Ajmer Singh, a trader from Etobiko, said the incident had left him shattered. “We have been sending our children to restaurants till late in the night without fear. We’ll have to be cautious now. I have never heard of a blast during my 25 years of stay here,” said Ajmer Singh.

Sukhwant Thethi, a Brampton-based Liberal Party leader, said: “I am most concerned for the patrons and staff of my friends at Bombay Bhel in Mississauga. I thank all first responders for their quick action”.–never-expected-this/595341.html

Daily Times – Sikhs in the Hindutva crosshairs

Human Rights activists the world over must take cognizance of RSS groups in India harassing minorities, especially the Muslims and Sikhs in the name of Hindutva

Op-Ed, 26 May 2018. The election of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Narendra Modi as Prime Minister (PM) of India has allowed the extremist Hindutva ideology to disturb the country’s social order.

The ideology’s origins can be traced back to a secular, diehard Hindu named Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who in his 1923 essay ‘Essentials of Hindutva’ presented a new, distorted version of Hinduism, and what it meant to be Hindu. Savarkar stressed that India is exclusively for Hindus and they must safeguard their religion, apparently from Muslims.

Again in 1928, Savarkar published a pamphlet ‘Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?’ and put forward the concepts of ‘Indian Nation’ and ‘Greater India’ and defined a Hindu on the basis of race, culture and nation. The essays and books of Savarkar served as the Bible for his followers and they relentlessly followed those arguments.

If Hindutva was confined to only the promotion of Hinduism as a religion or belief, there would be nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately, the progenitors of Hindutva took it upon themselves to denigrate Muslims as well as other religious groups, driving the Indian society to fear and hate.

In 1939 another extremist Hindu, M S Golwalkar, put forward a new book titled We or Our Nationhood Defined. Golwalkar defined the Hindu religion and nation, he also used virulent language especially aimed at Muslims.

On September 27, 1925, Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a physician by profession and a Hindu by religion, was deeply influenced and impressed by the teachings of Savarkar and laid down the foundations of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or the National Volunteers Movement in Nagpur, Maharashtra, then under British India.

Ostensibly, Dr Hedgewar was driven by the notion of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ or the ‘Hindu nation’ and wanted to organise the’Hindu nation’ primarily to preserve its identity. It was driven by intense hate and antipathy towards Muslims and Islam. Instead of teaching Hindus the notion of civic nationalism, they were given a distorted, radicalised version of Hinduism flanked by extreme sentiments of Hindu nationalism.

Hindutva appeared to have been placed on the backburner by the Indian Congress, while BJP, in its earlier rule under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, did not display a penchant for extremist Hindutva policies. It however, has received ascendancy in the government of Narendra Modi, who is himself a pracharak of the radical ideology.

The latest victims of Hindutva ideology besides Muslims, Christians and low caste Hindus, the Dalits, appear to be the Sikhs. Its community leaders have expressed grave resentment and anger over the RSS’ malicious designs of Hindutva, aimed at establishing hegemony of Hindus over India.

Sikhs in India were suppressed under Indira Gandhi, when she ordered a massive crackdown on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest of Sikh shrines through Operation Blue Star onJune 1, 1984. She paid dearly when two of her own Sikh guards assassinated her.

Since then, the Sikhs have been supressed. Now however, they are being directly targeted. This is happening to the extent that concerned voices have been raised by large Sikh community leaders in Australia and Canada.

The RSS’ Ghar Wapsi (return to your home) campaign, is an ongoing movement which aims to bring converted Muslims, Sikhs and Christians back to Hinduism. This law is a repeat of the past Shuddhi (purification) movement

Modi is constrained to support the repressive policies of the RSS in pursuit of the Hindutva diktat. During the 2014 general elections, Modi reached out to his parent organization, the RSS and Sangh Parivar for electoral support.

Following his victory, the progenitors of Hindutva demanded their pound of flesh: implementation of stern Hindutva doctrines and placement of extremist Hindus in important positions in the Indian government; thus the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the heads of the IB and RAW are in the same category.

The RSS’ ghar wapsi (return to your home) campaign, is an ongoing movement which aims to bring back converted Muslims, Sikhs and Christians to Hinduism. Many low caste Hindus, the Dalits had converted to escape the repression by high caste Hindus, the Brahmins.

This law is a repeat of the past shuddhi (purification) movement. Readers may recall that on September 24, 1990, then BJP president LK Advani launched “a crusade in defence of Hindutva”, which culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992.

Since 1996, the BJP’s election manifestoes for Lok Sabha elections pledge to espouse Hindutva in these terms: “The cultural nationalism of India … is the core of Hindutva.” This explains the Modi government’s systematic purge of educational and cultural institutions.

The ‘Ghar Wapsi’ movement is also based on getting Sikhs into the folds of Hindutva, and aimed at converting the Christians and Muslims so they return to their ‘original religion’. The movement has gained momentum during the current Modi regime.

The recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred by his ostensible support for the Sikh community. He was greeted by mocks and jibes, facing embarrassment.

Human Rights activists the world over must take cognizance of RSS groups in India harassing minorities, especially the Muslims and Sikhs in the name of Hindutva. This cannot be a reflection of “Shining India”.

The Hindu – BJP on the way out, says Punjab CM

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 27 May 2018. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that a united Opposition would oust the BJP-led government at the Centre in the Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.

Captain Singh was talking to press persons in Shahkot during a roadshow ahead of the Assembly byelection in the constituency on Monday. He said that anti-BJP forces were coming together and would throw the BJP-led Central government out as the people were completely fed up with it.

“People want a change, they want a future, they want a government that delivers,” he said, adding that the BJP-led government would face the consequences of its ill-conceived policies.

“The economy has been destroyed, industry is fleeing, law and order has collapsed,” he said.

The Asian Age – Man, his father, friends kill 15-yr-old girlfriend asking for marriage

On January 12, the minor’s body was found in the jungle near Mohiuddinpur area of district Meerut

Ghaziabad – UP – India, 15 May 2018. Five people were arrested on Monday in connection with the alleged rape and killing of a 15-year-old girl who was missing from her house in the Krishna Nagar area in Ghaziabad since December 2017, police said.

Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said that on December 27, a missing report was lodged by the parents of the girl at Modinagar police station.

On January 12, the minor’s body was found in the jungle near Mohiuddinpur area of district Meerut, he added.

According to a Hindustan Times report, the police arrested prime suspect Sumit Kumar, 21, his father Ramesh, 60, his friends Arif, 21, and Rajeev, 26, and driver Sonu, 26, whose Swift car was hired to take the girl to Meerut to execute the murder.

“The prime accused Sumit confessed he was in love with the girl and on December 26 he took her in Vijay Nagar area and cohabited with her after which she was mounting pressure on him for marriage. Upon rejection of the proposal she threatened to lodge an FIR against him,” a police official said.

The prime accused then decided to eliminate the girl, police claimed.

According to police officials, on January 9, Sumit and his friends took the girl for a ride in a Swift car, consumed alcohol at Ganga Canal, Murad Nagar and then strangulated her, using her stole, in the Mohiuddinpur area.

They also crushed her under their car, police added. Police recovered a motorcycle, a car, 2 country-made pistols, four live cartridges and the stole from the accused, officials said.

“All these things were used in the commission of the crime. Her earrings and clothes were recovered from a sugar cane field where her body was thrown. The accused have been sent to jail in connection with the case registered under sections 376 (rape), 302 (murder) and other sections of IPC along with POCSO Act,” SSP Krishna added. – June-1984 Holocaust: Sikh activists to take out religious procession on 27 May

By Sikh24 Editors

Faridkot – Panjab – India, 24 May 2018. In commemoration of the martyred Sikhs of June-1984 holocaust, a religious procession has been scheduled to be taken out on May 27 in village Bhana and other villages situated in its vicinity.

Notably, hundreds of Sikhs had attained martyrdom while battling against Indian army’s invasion into Sri Harmandr Sahib in June-1984.

Sharing the development with media, the SYFB’s senior vice president Bhai Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal informed that the procession will commence under the patronage of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and leadership of Panj Piares from Gurdwara Patshahi Shevin in village Bhana.

“It will conclude back at village Bhana after traversing through villages Dhuddi, Mand Wala, Dhoorkot, Bhaloor, Nathu Wala, Nathe Wala, Demru, Rode, Lande, Jioon Wala, Baggeana, Kot Sukhia, Nangal, Chameli etc.” he added.

He further informed that the writers and lyricists working for the high spirit of Punjab and Sikhism will be specially honoured on this occasion beside the Sikh freedom fighters and families of martyred Sikhs.

Sikh activists Bhai Gursewak Singh Bhana, Bhai Sarabjit Singh Ghuman, Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udoke, Manwinder Singh Giaspura, Bhai Damandeep Singh, Bhai Baljit Singh Dhuddi, Bhai Sukhchain Singh Sikhan Wala, Bhai Angrej Singh Khalsa, Bhai Sewak Singh, Bhai Arshdeep Singh Tilla etc. were also present on this occasion. – The-hero-we-need: In Uttarakhand, Sikh cop saves Muslim man from angry-mob

Shalini Ojha

Ramnagar – Uttarakhand – India, 25 May 2018. What could have turned into another tragic incident of mob-lynching was averted, all thanks to a Sikh cop deployed in the area.

An angry mob attacked a Muslim man in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, after he was found meeting with his Hindu girlfriend at the famous Girija temple.

When the mob tried beating the man, sub-inspector Gagandeep Singh hugged him and took him away.

Locals learnt couple belonged to different communities.

The Girija temple is frequented by couples because it is situated in a secluded area.

On May 22, when this Muslim man met his girlfriend at the temple, somehow locals got a whiff about their religions.

Soon the couple was surrounded by a furious mob who intended to hurt the boy. The presence of police and most importantly, Gagandeep Singh saved his life.

Cop attempted to save man, mob criticized him

A video of the incident, that has gone viral on social media, shows how Gagandeep fought hard against the group to save the man.

As the crowd heckled the man and even slapped him, Gagandeep held on to him tightly and took him away from the spot.

When the mob’s greed couldn’t be fulfilled they started yelling ‘Police prashasan murdabad’.

Mob alleged they found couple in compromising position

Speaking about the incident, Ramnagar police station in-charge Vikram Rathore said members of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) were a part of the crowd.

They alleged they found the couple in a ‘compromising’ position.

“By the time our team reached, the crowd had started manhandling the youth and his friend,” he said.

Officer Singh can’t be thanked enough for his bravery.

Dawn – In spite of the narrative

Asha’ar Rehman

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 25 May 2018. The question has by and large been ignored: is PML-N’s current appeal among the people in Punjab because of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s current anti-establishment narrative or in spite of it?

There is some evidence that the people are able to express their support for PML-N’s supreme leader without giving up their old love for those who were responsible for propping up Mian Sahib in the province’s, and later the country’s, politics all those years back.

Mian Sahib now wants to drum up support as an ideological politician out to cut his old masters in the establishment down to size.

He had in recent times intensified his campaign, leading some of us to believe that he was more concerned about the personal fight, over and above any desire to salvage the situation in favour of his party, which is now led by, in his own right, a very well-entrenched Shahbaz Sharif.

It will be appropriate to make two important points here. One, Punjab’s love affair with the Sharifs may be running today as a parallel to the province’s old and trusted relationship with the establishment, through those who are elected to the assemblies from here.

Two, it has very frequently been said that it is primarily the Nawaz vote bank in Punjab, and that despite his fame as an efficient administrator and development supervisor, Shahbaz does not quite command similar respect from the voters and those they elect directly. This notion can hardly stand the most rudimentary of tests in the people’s laboratory.

This is how it goes. Shahbaz has repeatedly got power in Punjab on the back of his elder brother’s success in general elections. On the other hand, Nawaz finds it easier to take his case to the people in the province on the basis of the heroics people largely believe Shahbaz has been able to perform.

This makes it rather difficult to separate the two. It would be a little premature, and should we say a wee bit unfair as well, if an analyst was to preemptively penalise Shahbaz for going for a public endorsement of his abilities and work directly instead of relying wholly or chiefly on the services of Nawaz to run the campaign for him.

Shahbaz can succeed since it is first and foremost his work that draws people to the rallies to listen to Nawaz’s narrative.

The two brothers have done it so well in tandem. Shahbaz has quite a lot of his own to flaunt and may persist with doing it for as long as he is allowed to, even if at some stage Nawaz is not too effective to do the promotion for the company.

It would be rather harsh to predict that the people will not like to hear and respond to Shahbaz coming up with tales of his exploits and would make their vote for the PML-N conditional on the presence in the field of Mian Nawaz Sharif.

Maybe Mian Sahib would not want to be reminded of it at this charged moment in his political career, but a fact check at this moment will be handy. It is true that Mian Sahib has been commanding large gatherings during his ‘mujhay kyun nikala’ or ‘why was I ousted?’ jalsas.

But what was the rallying cry here? Has it really been his call for a fight against the powers who, he says, threw him out? Or is it that the people gather to greet Mian Sahib out of respect for the work that they believe his governments have done over time?

It is likely that the people are turning up in large numbers to hail the development model that Mian Sahib and his younger brother Shahbaz have come to symbolise together.

Whereas Mian Sahib may attempt to portray the attendance at the jalsa as a vindication of his narrative, the crowd gathered in front of him may be under no compulsion to give approval to the narrative he has been desperately trying to sell.

The PML-N is no revolutionary outfit. The party consists of veteran politicians who know how it is and what it takes to be around. Shahbaz Sharif is also, it seems quite proudly, aware of the value of the brand that he has been jointly marketing under the Sharif company’s banner.

He understands that, notwithstanding the revolt taking shape inside his elder brother’s mind, his own strategy has a better chance of succeeding as realism prevails over all other isms in Pakistani power politics.

He will go on asking Mian Sahib to lower the intensity of his attacks on the establishment in favour of the Shahbaz brand, a mix of tough political talk that aims to deflate political rivals in a very personal manner backed by solid, eye-catching development activity in the street.

To those who must downplay Shahbaz’s political prowess, it can be argued that the celebrated chief minister of Punjab deserves to be heard out separately, as a more refined, more pragmatic, a more old PML-N-like voice from within the party.

He may yet be able to convince the other, shall we say the left? plank in his party to see reason and accept that a safer route to rescue Mian Nawaz Sharif would be where PML-N, under Shahbaz, is able to first make up with its old sponsors in the establishment.

Shahbaz could as yet succeed to make a fist of it, so long as he is allowed to be in the fray and does not suffer the ignominy of a summary ouster from a race which is purely political. Shahbaz can succeed since it is first and foremost his work that draws people to the rallies to listen to Nawaz’s narrative.

We have electoral proof that people like the visuals that the Shahbaz development model has thrown up. There is no guarantee on the other hand that asked to choose between their two known loves, the people will opt for Nawaz over those who painstakingly worked to turn him into Mian Sahib.

The writer is Dawn’s resident editor in Lahore

The Hindustan Times – India, Netherlands discuss cooperation across various sectors

India and The Netherlands on Thursday explored cooperation across multiple sectors at a CEOs Round Table attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.

New Delhi – India, 24 May 2018. “Netherlands is the fourth largest investor in India in diverse sectors,” Kumar said in an earlier tweet.

The CEOs Round Table was preceded by a bilateral meeting between Modi and Rutte at Hyderabad House here.

Rutte arrived here on Thursday morning on a two-day visit to India that will also see him going to Bengaluru.

This is his second visit to India since June 2015, but the first after being re-elected as Prime Minister in 2017.

The Dutch leader’s visit comes within a year of Modi’s visit to The Netherlands last June.

According to figures released by the External Affairs Ministry, India and The Netherlands have a bilateral trade of $7.621 billion (April 2017-Feb 2018).

The Netherlands is also home to a 235,000-strong Indian diaspora, the largest in mainland Europe.

Rutte’s visit is expected to boost the economic and political cooperation between India and The Netherlands.

In the not too distant past stage democracy was important to the governments of the Netherlands. Now they are only to pleased to sit down with elected dictator Modi.
The Man in Blue

The Tribune – Need six months to set things right: Soni

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar – Panjab – India, 23 May 2018. Environment Minister O P Soni on Wednesday admitted that the water pollution problem in Punjab is grave. The minister, who visited the dera of environmentalist Balbir S Seechewal at Shahkot, tried to get away with any query related to the ecological disaster post discharge from Chadha Sugars.

He said: “We will narrate before the tribunal how it happened and what action has been taken by the government. We have got a report on the case from the inquiry committee.” The minister agreed that the water pollution affected villages of Shahkot and surrounding areas, which as cancer prone.

“I joined this department hardly a month back. Give me just six months to set things right. We will get all mills checked and punish the offenders”.

Soni was accompanied by PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu, who said: “We acted swiftly and issued a show-cause notice to the company. Representatives of the company will appear before the board.” He said: “Though there has been a huge loss, we have tried our level best to ensure that drinking water is not contaminated”.