Dawn – Punjab allows opening of cattle markets

The Newspaper’s Staff Reporter

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 30 March 2020. To maintain meat supply chain during the ongoing lockdown in the province, the Punjab government has allowed functioning of all cattle markets, including the one at Shahpur Kanjran in Lahore.

Since the government in its notification for imposing lock-down on the province had not included the cattle markets among the essential service providers or departments, the deputy commissioners in all the districts of the province had disallowed the cattle markets, that led to shortage of meat in Punjab.

“It impacted Lahore’s Shahpur Kanjran cattle market that was opened on Wednesday after a special permission. But, it received a very small number of animals for sale, resulting in less slaughtering in Lahore and causing meat shortage in the city,” Lahore Division Cattle Market Management Company Manager (Operations) Jazib Saeed told Dawn.

He said it was observed on Wednesday that only cattle traders from nearby towns and villages reached Shahpur Kanjran market on the main day of its operation. So the business volume remained very low, approximately 20 per cent of the usual trade.

“Sufficient number of animals were not available [on Wednesday last] for the butchers to meet the demand. The animal count of small ruminant [goats and sheep] remained 4,100 compared to 20,000 on normal days, while large ruminants number was 1,800 as compared to 9,000 on normal days,” he explained.

Consequently, he said, the animal slaughtering at the Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (Pamco)-operated slaughterhouse at Shahpur also remained low on Wednesday.

“Keeping in view the situation, the government realised that it may disturb the meat supply chain in the ongoing lockdown, causing problem for the people. That is why it allowed opening of the cattle markets,” Mr Saeed explained.


Dawn – AFP Fact Check: A photo from Lahore’s Aurat March of a TV anchor and his wife has been doctored

The original photo of anchorperson Mansoor Ali Khan and his family shows his wife holding a blank card.

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 10 March 2020. A photo of television news anchor Mansoor Ali Khan with his wife and son at the Aurat March rally in Lahore has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts. The image purports to show the news anchor’s wife holding a placard that promotes “no shame” in nakedness.

This claim is false; the photo has been doctored to add the text to the blank paper that Khan’s wife was holding.

The photo was published here on Facebook on 08 March 2020. It has since been shared more than 400 times. It shows journalist and anchorperson Mansoor Ali Khan with his wife and child.

The Urdu-language slogan on the piece of paper in Khan’s wife’s hand translates to English as: “There is no shame in getting naked”.

The post’s caption translates as: “Mansoor Ali Khan’s wife is carrying a slogan ‘there is no shame in getting naked’ and my host is laughing sheepishly.”

The same photo showing the slogan on the placard was also shared on Facebook here and here and on Twitter here and here, with a similar claim.

But the claim is false; Khan posted the original photo, which shows his wife holding a blank piece of paper, on his Facebook page here.

Khan also posted another collage image that showed the original photo beside other doctored versions of the photo with different slogans. He captioned this post: “The dark world of Photoshopped pictures”.

The other texts digitally edited into the collage reads “My body, my choice” and “Divorce wanted.”

The Khan family were among the thousands of protesters who marked International Women’s Day in cities across Pakistan on March 8. The rallies promoted counter “anti-feminist” rallies, AFP reported here.


Sikh24.com – Lahore Court adjourns hearing of Jagjit Kaur’s alleged abduction case onto 10 February

Sikh24 Editors

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 27 January 2020. On 25 January, a Lahore Court has deferred a hearing on alleged abduction and forced conversion of Jagjit Kaur onto 10 February.

Notably, Jagjit Kaur is a daughter of Bhagwan Singh, who serves as a head granthi in Gurdwara Sri Tambu Sahib of Nankana Sahib. Jagjit Kaur was produced before the Lahore Court on 25 January.

It is pertinent to note here that Mohammad Ahsan’s son Zulfiqar Ali Khan was married to Jagjit Kaur on 28 August last year after kidnapping her. She was renamed as Aasia after getting her converted to Islam.

She is currently being held under heavy security in a shelter home of Lahore.

During the hearing of the case, Jagjit Kaur’s brother Manmohan Singh told the court that his sister’s mobile phone is with Mohammad Ahsan and he is threatening and blackmailing her with that mobile phone.

He also alleged that Mohammad Ahsan was threatening his family from the last two years to kidnap his sister.
On this, the Judge said that they should have complained to the police or approached court at that time.

I do not claim to know it all, but I still think that we should seriously consider the possibility that Jagjit Kaur/Aasia really prefers living with her new in-laws over returning to her own family.


Pakistan Today – Protesters besiege Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, threaten to expel Sikhs from city

Staff Report

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 03 January 2020. Protesters staged a sit-in outside Gurdwara Nankana Sahib on Friday and threatened to drive the local Sikh population out of the city if the authorities did not release the suspects arrested in an alleged forced conversion case.

They were led by the family of a man named Ehsan, who had been detained alongside several family members earlier in the day for forcibly converting a Sikh girl, Jagjit Kaur, earlier this year. Ehsan’s sister told the media that the police had raided their home and had tortured the women and children present inside the house.

Ehsan was scheduled to appear before the court on 09 January in the case. His family alleged that the police tried to pressurise them ahead of the hearing.

Nankana Sahib District Police Officer Ismail Kharak said that the suspects were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by a citizen regarding a dispute. He did not, however, comment on the family’s allegations regarding the police’s attempts to pressure them ahead of the hearing.

Nankana Sahib Police Station Sub Inspector (SI) Ghulam Hussain said that a dispute between two families had escalated to the point of one family protesting in public. However, he said, the protesters did not attack the holy site.

While the official said that the protesters dispersed after the police intervened, a local media outlet reported that PTI Nankana Sahib President Pir Sarwar Shah held talks with the protesters and ensured the release of the suspects.

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Amir Ameer said that there was no attack on the Gurdwara and no damage was caused to the holy site. “This is a law and order issue which was resolved by the police,” he said.

Meena Kumari, a resident of Nankana Sahib told Pakistan Today that said she has been married to a Muslim for the past 20 years but has not faced any discrimination. Commenting on the matter, she said that the locals had created an issue out of nothing.

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is the site where the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born and is regarded as one of the holiest sites in the religion. On August 28, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed in the Nankana police station against six people who were accused of abducting and forcefully converting the 19-year-old woman.

The police subsequently traced the suspects to Lahore and detained one of them. Later, the woman had submitted a written statement in the court, stating that she had converted to Islam and married Ehsan of her own free will. She also accused her family of “wanting to kill me”.

The woman was subsequently shifted to a Darul Aman shelter on the court’s orders after the Sikh community had demanded that the police bring her back to her parents’ house irrespective of the conversion being forced or consensual.


Sikh24.com – Mob of Muslims pelt stones at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib; SGPC seeks immediate arrest of mobsters

Sikh24 Editors

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 03 January 2020. An extremely painful incident for Sikhs has emerged from the roots of Sikhism i.e. Nankana Sahib, where a mob of Muslims today pelted stones towards Gurdwara Janam Asthan Sri Nankana Sahib and shouted highly inflammatory slogans against Sikhs and the Sikhism.

It has come to fore that this mob was being led by the family of Mohammad Hassan, who had abducted Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur in August last year. In a video, recorded at the site of the protest, the protesters were seen saying that they were against the presence of the Gurdwara there.

They even said that they will soon change the name of the place from Nankana Sahib to Ghulaman-e-Mustafa.

“No Sikh will remain in Nankana,” the Muslims present in the mob can be heard saying in the video of this incident.

Meanwhile, the apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee has strongly condemned this extremely painful incident.

Expressing concern over the day by day prospering anti-Sikh environment in Pakistan, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has asked the Pakistan government to ensure security of Sikhs and take a strict action against this group of mobsters.

“We stand in solidarity with Sikhs living in Pakistan and will not tolerate any kind of ill language against our historic Sikh shrines,” Longowal said while demanding immediate arrest of these mobsters.

Mob of Muslims pelt stones at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib; SGPC seeks immediate arrest of mobsters

NDTV – Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan to be shut for non-Sikhs on Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday

The Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan’s Punjab province connects Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab in India.

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 01 January 2020. The historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, will be closed for local non-Sikh visitors for three days from Friday in connection to the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, an official said in Lahore on Wednesday.

“The (Pakistan) government has decided to close Kartarpur Sahib for three days from January 3 to 5 for non-Sikh visitors to exclusively hold a Sikh event, celebration of birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh at the Kartarpur Complex Narowal,” Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETBP) spokesperson Amir Hashmi said. The ETPB looks after the holy places of minorities in Pakistan.

Mr Hashmi said the government decided to close Kartarpur Sahib for non-Sikh Pakistanis to let the Sikhs of Pakistan and India celebrate their Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday together at the historic Kartarpur complex.

“The main event of the 10th Guru of Sikh religion Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary will be held at Kartarpur on 05 January.

In addition to 2,000 Pakistani Sikhs, officials of the ETPB and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee will also participate in it,” the official said, adding that strict security measures have been taken to avert any untoward incident.

The official said that on Saturday and Sunday more than 20,000 non-Sikh pilgrims visit the Kartarpur complex which is 120 kilometres from Lahore.

ETPB chief Aamir Ahmed has directed the officials concerned to make all necessary arrangements for the event.

Pakistan opened the Kartarpur corridor on 09 November after Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated it in the presence of visiting Indian dignitaries like former premier Manmohan Singh, actor and BJP MP Sunny Deol and former cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.

According to the agreement between the two countries, every day 5,000 Indian Sikh pilgrims can visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.

Sikh events should always be open to all
Sikh Gurdwaras should always be open to all
Man in Blue


The News – Grant for smart city control system for Nankana Sahib approved

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 01 January 2019. the Panjab government Tuesday approved the supplementary grant for the smart city control system for district Nankana Sahib and lifted a ban on hiring technical cadre officials in special branch.

The approval was given in the 23rd meeting of Standing Committee of Cabinet for Finance chaired by Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat attended by Punjab Minister for Industry and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal, adviser to chief minister Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary Azam Suleman, Chairman Planning and Development Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh and other officials of the departments concerned.

The meeting also approved the sharing of the Fisheries Department in accordance with the KP in Mianwali Chasma link canal, bypass road construction between Dijkot Samundri to Canal Rekh Branch Dijkot, inclusion of Wazirabad Cardiology Institute in IRMNCH&N in ongoing annual development plan, construction of hostels for teachers and students in DG Khan Teaching Hospital, release of funds for Anmol Hospital Lahore, and resale of funds for maternity ambulances in the deprived areas.

The meeting orders the social welfare department to justify the appointment on vacant seats, reasons of increase of PKLI cost, performance of Safe City Authority along with its overall financial plans.

The meeting also reviewed to bring the Safe City Authority under Home Department and conversion the safe city into smart city.

Later, chairing another meeting to review the Annual Development Plan, it was informed that out of total Rs 350 billion ADP, planning and development department approved Rs 175 billion worth schemes while Rs 169 billion were released by the Finance Department against approved schemes. However, only 53 percent was released budget was utilised.

The chief secretary instructed the departments to complete the district development selection committee by January 15 and Provincial Development Working Party by February 29.


The Express Tribune – A visiting Indian delegation opened my mind and heart

Nazia Jabeen

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 20 November 2019. When all eyes were on Kartarpur Corridor’s landmark inauguration scheduled for 09 November, a day before the main event (on 08 November), a group of Indian journalists crossed into Pakistan via the Wagah Border. They were in Lahore to attend the opening ceremony of the corridor ahead of the 550th birthday of Baba Guru Nanak on 12 November.

Baba Guru Nanak is also respected among the Muslims of Pakistan because of his teachings on humanism and unity, and against separatism and barbarism. I was the part of a team tasked with hosting the Indian journalist delegation and it was a riveting experience to say the least.

The 34-strong delegation comprised of both print and electronic journalists including at least ten women, most of them belonging to the Indian state Panjab.

On 09 November, they attended the inauguration of the corridor by Prime Minister Imran Khan. They were speechless as they got of the bus and soaked in the grandeur of the gurdwara. I too could feel that they were spiritually elevated there, forgetting that they were here to cover the event.

On the eve of Kartarpur Corridor opening, we had arranged a dinner for them at the Governor’s House. An all-vegetable and lentils menu did not go well with a few of them. A journalist said: “I was expecting some beef and mutton dishes too.”

When explained, that it was arranged viewing cultural and religious sensitivities of the delegates, the visiting journalist said that the love and respect the team had received in Pakistan, had changed his views about the country.

Besides attending the Kartarpur Corridor event, the Indian journalists were keen to see sights and shop in Lahore. Owing to the recent wave of smog and pollution in Dehli, the blue Lahore sky was really fascinating for the team.

They lamented that they had not seen the sky in a few days in Dehli. In about two weeks, as I write this, Lahore too is under a blanket of smog and schools are being shutdown, which is very unfortunate.

The delegates could not be taken to Lahore’s historical places including the Fort, Badshahi Mosque and Shalimar Gardens due to the paucity of time. They could only be taken to shop and when they got to the Packages Mall, the delegates went on a shopping spree.

They loved an array of Pakistani clothing brands. To the extent where they bought as many un-stitched and stitched pieces as they could. One of the Indian journalists even wore the Pakistan bought kurta on her journey back home.

Some of the women from the delegation really liked my dupatta, prompting me to gift them to all the women in the delegation. My personal gifts were accepted with smiles and gratitude. Only one journalist was reluctant to accept the gift because her newspaper had a strict policy but I insisted that it was not a gift from a news source but from a new friend.

This put her mind at ease and also started a beautiful friendship between us. I did not forget the men though, and decided to get cuff links for them but as journalists are known to dress for comfort one of them protested,

“I will need a shirt to use them.” “He means give him a shirt too,” quipped another delegate and with this laughter erupted.

The joke made me think about how much we share as neighbours, including our sense of humour. Everything during the trip went without a hitch, expect when it came to pronouncing some of the names. While counting the members of the delegation on the bus, at one point I said only Parveen is missing. A female journalist was quick to correct me politely, “Mr Praveen, not Parveen.”

The visit by the journalists from India really opened my eyes to all the things we share in common and how little the differences between us are. We speak the same language almost, we look similar and when we hang out with each other, we usually end up making the same jokes.

The interaction also opened my mind and since they left I have started reading about India beyond what news channels throw at me and have also gotten books about Hinduism and Sikhism.

The differences between India and Pakistan perhaps could then be called political and I feel if the governments on both sides work towards recognising what makes us similar instead of what sets us apart, maybe we can overcome the hostile history that the two nations share.


The Tribune – Amid corridor buzz, Nankana Sahib gurdwara draws sea of devotees

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 12 November 2019. A large number of Sikh pilgrims from India, Canada, the US, the UK, the UAE and different parts of Pakistan gathered at the Gurdwara Janamasthan Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak, to mark his 550 birth anniversary today.

The Sikhs carried out a ‘palki’ from the shrine and moved to eight other smaller gurdwaras in Nankana Sahib city. The pilgrims from India, Canada, the US, the UK, the UAE and different parts of Pakistan gathered at the Gurdwara and performed religious rituals.

Federal Interior Minister Ijaz Shah said Sikhs expressed joy over the arrangements regarding the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak and opening of the Kartarpur Corridor project.

The corridor was thrown open by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday, facilitating Indian pilgrims to visit one of Sikhs’ holiest shrines in the Pakistani town of Narowal. The corridor links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan President Arif Alvi addressed the Sikhs at the Governor’s House in Lahore where Governor Sarwar had invited some 2,000 Sikh pilgrims, who had come from different parts of the world, including India, for a luncheon, Dawn News reported.

Alvi said Sikhs would be welcomed in Pakistan and doors would remain wide open for them at every occasion. He lauded Religious Tourism and Heritage Committee led by Chaudhry Sarwar for making arrangement for the corridor opening ceremony and for arrangements made for the birth anniversary celebrations.

“Pakistan is advocating love and peace as wars are not the solution to issues, which could be resolved through dialogues,” he said. Governor Sarwar said, “Pakistan is a safe country for minorities and it is working for restoration of religious places of not only the Sikh community but also other minorities including Christians and Hindus”.

Notwithstanding their strained ties, India and Pakistan signed an agreement last month, paving the way for the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor.

According to the pact, Pakistan will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. Guru Nanak Dev spent last 18 years of his life at Kartarpur Sahib, which has now become the world’s largest Sikh Gurdawara.

Now, turn of guru’s birthplace, says Yogi

Lucknow – UP – India, 12 November 2019. UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said that after the Kartarpur Corridor, it was the turn of Nankana Sahib to open its door for the people of this country. “I extend my good wishes to you and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ensuring the opening of Kartarpur Corridor.

The day is not far when we will be able to visit Nankana Sahib too,” he said at a function to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. Nankana Sahib is a city in Pakistan in which Guru Nanak was born. He said the teachings of Guru Nanak were spread across several countries.


Pakistan Today – India denies passage of Sikh religious procession into Pakistan

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 01 November 2019. Indian authorities at the Attari border crossing tried to stop the passage of golden ‘Palki’ Sahib to Pakistan after it denied permission to the bus carrying the palanquin to cross over to Pakistan.

The Nagar Kirtan (religious procession reciting holy hymns) was returning to Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, along with a gold plated ‘Palki’ Sahib to be installed at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, in connection with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak Dev.

The ‘Palki’ Sahib, a gift from Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, was being transported to Pakistan on a specially designed bus to house the ‘Palki’ Sahib and the Guru Granth Sahib.

Pawan Singh Arora, PRO to the Punjab governor, told APP that Indian authorities refused to allow the bus cross over to Pakistan on its way to Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur.

Upon refusal by Indian authorities, Sikh Yatrees carried the golden ‘Palki’ Sahib on their shoulders along with the Guru Granth Sahib and entered Pakistan via Wagha border crossing.

Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, alongside officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, Rangers, and Pakistani Sikh leadership welcomed the ‘Nagar Kirtan’ and ‘Palki’ Sahib and the Sikh Yatrees on the Pakistani side of the border.

Pawan Singh Arora said the Sikh leadership and Yatrees condemned the Indian decision to deny permission to the holy bus to enter Pakistan, adding that the interior of the bus had been decorated as a Gurdwara.

The headline is wrong, the article is right: India denied entry into Pakistan to the ‘Golden Bus’ and to Paramjit Singh Sarna
Man in Blue