Dawn – ‘Dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir,’ writes PM Imran in New York Times

The premier, in an op-ed for The New York Times, says international community should think beyond trade, business advantages. “Dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks,” wrote Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his opinion piece for The New York Times.

The article, titled ‘The world can’t ignore Kashmir. We are all in danger’, was published on Friday, coinciding with the government’s call to observe Kashmir Hour across the country to show solidarity with Kashmiris in India-occupied Kashmir, whose rights were stripped by the Indian government earlier this month.

New York – State of New York – USA, 30 August 2019. Cities came to a standstill as tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets while the national anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir played across television and radio.

Traffic came to a standstill, traffic lights were switched off and trains stopped briefly as part of the premier’s campaign to draw global attention to the plight of the Kashmiris.

“We are with them in their testing times. The message that goes out of here today is that as long as Kashmiris don’t get freedom, we will stand with them,” Prime Minister Imran told thousands of demonstrators in the capital.

In the article, which was published shortly after his address, the premier reiterated the importance of dialogue.

“With the nuclear shadow hovering over South Asia, we realise that Pakistan and India have to move out of a zero-sum mind-set to begin dialogue on Kashmir, various strategic matters and trade. On Kashmir, the dialogue must include all stakeholders, especially the Kashmiris,” he wrote.

“We have already prepared multiple options that can be worked on while honoring the right to self-determination the Kashmiris were promised by the Security Council resolutions and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Through dialogue and negotiations, the stakeholders can arrive at a viable solution to end the decades of suffering of the Kashmiri people and move toward a stable and just peace in the region.

“But dialogue can start only when India reverses its illegal annexation of Kashmir, ends the curfew and lockdown, and withdraws its troops to the barracks,” said the premier, referring to the lockdown and communications clampdown in occupied Kashmir since 05 August.

“It is imperative that the international community think beyond trade and business advantages. World War II happened because of appeasement at Munich. A similar threat looms over the world again, but this time under the nuclear shadow,” warned the premier.

A blood bath is feared in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted – PM Imran Khan

“On July 26, 2018, in my first televised address to Pakistan after winning the elections, I stated we wanted peace with India and if it took one step forward, we would take two steps. After that, a meeting between our two foreign ministers was arranged on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in September 2018, but India canceled the meeting.

That September I also wrote my first of three letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for dialogue and peace.

“Unfortunately, all my efforts to start a dialogue for peace were rebuffed by India. Initially, we assumed that Mr Modi’s increasingly hard-line positions and his rhetoric against Pakistan were aimed to whip up a nationalist frenzy among the Indian voters with an eye on the Indian elections in May.

“On 14 February a few months before those elections, a young Kashmiri man carried out a suicide attack against Indian troops in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The Indian government promptly blamed Pakistan.

“We asked for evidence, but Mr Modi sent Indian Air Force fighter planes across the border to Pakistan. Our Air Force brought down an Indian plane and captured the pilot. We struck back to signal we could defend ourselves but chose not to strike a target that would cause loss of life.

I made a conscious decision to show that Pakistan had no intent of aggravating the conflict between two nuclear-armed states. We returned the captured Indian pilot, with no preconditions.

Evidently Mr Modi had mistaken our desire for peace in a nuclear neighborhood as appeasement – PM Imran Khan

“On 23 May, after Mr Modi’s re-election, I congratulated him and hoped we could work for “peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia.” In June, I sent another letter to Mr Modi offering dialogue to work toward peace. Again, India chose not to respond.

And we found out that while I was making peace overtures, India had been lobbying to get Pakistan placed on the “blacklist” at the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, which could lead to severe economic sanctions and push us toward bankruptcy.

“Evidently Mr Modi had mistaken our desire for peace in a nuclear neighborhood as appeasement. We were not simply up against a hostile government. We were up against a “New India,” which is governed by leaders and a party that are the products of the Hindu supremacist mother ship, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or the RSS.

“On 05 Aug 2019, in its most brazen and egregious move, Mr Modi’s government altered the status of Indian-occupied Kashmir through the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution.

The move is illegal under the Constitution of India, but more important, it is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.

“And Mr Modi’s “New India” chose to do this by imposing a military curfew in Kashmir, imprisoning its population in their homes and cutting off their phone, internet and television connections, rendering them without news of the world or their loved ones. The siege was followed by a purge: Thousands of Kashmiris have been arrested and thrown into prisons across India.

“A blood bath is feared in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted,” wrote the premier, drawing attention to the fact that “Kashmiris coming out in defiance of the curfew are being shot and killed”.


The Tribune – Today’s food is too sweet: Study

New York – State of New York – USA, 25 June 2019. Customers find foods in today’s marketplace to be too sweet, researchers that analysed nearly four lakh food reviews said.

“This is the first study of this scale to study food choice beyond the artificial constraints of the laboratory. Sweet was the most frequently mentioned taste quality and the reviewers told us that human food is over-sweetened,” said study lead author Danielle Reed from Monell Chemical Senses Center in the USA.

Published in the journal of Physiology and Behavior, the study examined 393,568 unique food reviews of 67,553 products posted by 256,043 customers over a 10 year period to gain real-world insight into the food choices that people make.

To identify words related to taste, texture, odour, spiciness, cost, health and customer service, the researchers used statistical modelling programme and computed the number of reviews that mentioned each of these categories.

The focus on product over-sweetness was striking as almost one per cent of product reviews, regardless of food type, used the phrase “too sweet”.

When looking at reviews that referred to sweet taste, the researchers found that over-sweetness was mentioned 25 times more than under-sweetness.

The researchers found that sweet taste was mentioned in 11 per cent of product reviews, almost three times more often than bitter.


Pakistan Today – USA Sikhs, Kashmiris rally near UN to express solidarity with Pakistan

New York – State of New York – USA, 01 March 2019. Braving cold weather, hundreds of American Sikhs, Kashmiris and Pakistanis on Thursday demonstrated in front of the United Nations building to express solidarity with Pakistan and condemn India’s aggression against it, as the UN and world powers worked feverishly to de-escalate the heightened tensions between the two South Asian countries.

Shouting vociferous anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans, they urged the United Nations to take a leading role to prevent a full-scale war between the two countries in the wake of India’s blatant incursions across the Line of Control (LoC) and Pakistan responding by downing two Indian warplanes inside the Pakistani airspace.

The demonstrators were carrying banners like banners like “Referendum Not War”, “Stop Modi’s Jingoistic War”, “Modi: Face of Indian Terrorism”, “Pulwama: Election Stunt”, “Indian forces out of Kashmir” and “Self-determination for Kashmiris”.

Thursday’s “Anti-War” rally was organized by US-based “Sikhs For Justice” (SfJ), which seeks the independence of Punjab from Indian occupation through a referendum.

The SfJ initiative was backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Overseas Pakistanis Global Foundation, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Pakistan Muslim League-N, along with “Youth Akali Dal Amritsar (YADA), Sikh Youth of America (SYA) and American Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (AGPC) and Jammu Kashmir Plebiscite Front.

Later, the SfJ submitted a memorandum to the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, calling for the resolution of the conflicts in Kashmir and Indian Punjab by organizing referendums in those regions.

Co-signed by several Kashmiri, Pakistani and Sikh organizations, it stated, “despite the peaceful, democratic nature of Kashmiri’s demand for a plebiscite and the Sikhs’ campaign for Referendum 2020, Indian authorities appear determined to crush these movements by unleashing a reign of terror.

“The Indian authorities are also exaggerating stories and fabricating evidence to implicate the activists in terrorism cases.”

It added, “To avoid any further human tragedy that a war and the cycle of violence brings forth, we urge the United Nations, as the principle organization responsible for world peace, to take a lead role in impressing upon India the urgency of holding a plebiscite in the regions of Kashmir and Punjab which are under its control, this will determine the fate of these regions according to the wishes of the people.”

“Kashmiris and Sikhs have suffered genocide and violence for more than 70 years and we believe that only a democratic process like a plebiscite can bring sustainable peace to the region. A referendum, not war is the solution for the Indian held Kashmir and Punjab regions,” Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, said.

Sardar Sawar Khan, a former member of the Azad Kashmir Council, thanked the Sikhs for organizing the demonstration and said that through their joint struggle they would be able to achieve their goal of freedom from Indian yoke.

Also participating were Kashmiri leaders: Malik Imtiaz, Shabbir Gulk, Tahir Mian, Taj Khan, Imtiaz Garalvi, Chaudhry Zahoor Raja and Razak Malik. Sikh leaders included Sarabjit Singh Shiromani, Amandeep Singh, Amarjit Singh, Baljit Singh and Baba Amarjit Singh.

After demonstrating for a couple of hours, Kashmiris and Pakistanis marched to the Indian Mission to the UN and staged a demonstration. They carried Pakistan and Azad Kashmir flags and called for India to stop its aggressive policies.

They raised “Pakistan Zindabad” and “Pakistan Military Zindabad” slogans and vowed to continue their struggle to liberate Kashmir from Indian occupation.


Associated Press of Pakistan – Sikh body slams Indian diplomat’s interference as a US state declared ‘Sikh genocide day’

New York – State of New York – USA, 13 November 2018. A Sikh advocacy group has protested to the US State Department against what it called was an attempt by the Indian Consul General in New York to interfere in the state of Connecticut’s legislative process, after it declared November 30 as “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” to commemorate the killings of thousands of Sikhs in India following the 1984 assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh body guards.


Sikh24.com – East Coast Sikhs join candlelight vigil in support of the Jewish Community

Sikh24 Editors

New York – State of New York – USA, 31 October 2018. Sikhs joined the Queens’ community in New York to honor the victims of the shootings that took place on October 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, PA.

The candlelight event was dubbed “Queens Against Hate: Candlelight Vigil” and was attended by members of various faiths to honor the victims and express solidarity with the Jewish community.

“Members of the Sikh community are here today to express their solidarity with the Jewish community. What happened in Pittsburg was awful and we want to let the Jewish community know that we are all here to support them in any way possible,” said Gurpreet Singh from New Jersey who traveled here to attend the vigil.

“In times of such darkness, may our unity light the way,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a statement as she called upon all faiths and backgrounds to stand together in solidarity.

Representing the Sikh community, members of the World Sikh Parliament, Sikh Cultural Society Richmondhill NY, Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast (SCCEC) and The Sikh Center of New York attended the candlelight vigil.

“Six years ago a similar hate crime occurred at a Sikh place of Worship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sikhs condemn such hate crimes and will always stand with the victims,” said Himmat Singh of SCCEC.

Expressing solidarity with the Jewish community, United Sikhs, a humanitarian organization, shared the following statement:

“We strongly feel that we, as a society and a nation, have the responsibility to make sure that no community in this country should feel unsafe. No child should have to go through the trauma of seeing their own community members mowed down in hate.

This is extremely hurtful for all of us. All churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and gurdwaras should be a safe place for all faith communities. The political rhetoric in this country lately is not helpful and the leadership of this country ought to send signals which give solace to all communities.”


ANI News – Guru Granth Sahib International Centre named as International Centre for Sikh Studies

New York – State of New York – USA, 25 August 2018. The Guru Granth Sahib International Centre has now been named International Centre for Sikh Studies and has been 80% completed.

The project has been started by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee, under president Manjit Singh GK. Singh said that the project would be inaugurated on Baisakhi next year. The Centre would be established at Rakab Gunj, New Delhi.

Indian-American businessman Sant Singh Chatwal has contributed one million dollars for the project. Sant Singh Chatwal said, “Last month I was in India and I was so pleased to see the progress of International Centre for Sikh Studies in Gurudwara Rakab Gunj, New Delhi.

The centre is almost 80% ready. The message of Guru Granth Sahib is universal.” During a press conference, Manjit Singh GK said, “We were lucky that Chatwal offered one million dollars for this project.

This project is about the universal message which should be told to everybody. Next year on Baisakhi, is the date we want to inaugurate this project. It will house a museum, digital library, auditorium, among others.”


Sikh24.com – Manjit Singh GK Attacked in New York; DSGMC Blames Sikhs For Justice

Sikh24 Editors

New York – State of New York – USA, 21 August 2018. The DSGMC president S Manjit Singh GK was attacked last night by some youths in New York. He was attacked as he emerged out of a TV studio after giving interview.

Multiple Video clips of the attack have gone viral over social media in which GK could be seen being targeted by the some youths.

Sharing the incident on social media, S Manjit Singh GK wrote that a group of people attacked him and his relatives in New York. He added that this will not scare me away from my path to serve the community.

“I have fought and I will fight till my last breath. Such cowardly incidents do not scare me away. They strengthen my spirit” he maintained.

Interacting with media, GK claimed that the men who attacked him were intoxicated. “As I came out of a TV channel debate some intoxicated people attacked me and my family” GK said while accusing the assailants being ISI backed.

Meanwhile, the DSGMC officials have released a press note in which they have accused the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) for orchestrating this attack on GK.