Nepal for po­lit­i­cal ex­per­i­ments, Lon­don rally of Sikhs, CPEC is SA des­tiny

People's Review - - COMMENTARY - <ed­i­tor@tele­graph­nepal.com>

Nepal is a fer­tile land for con­duct­ing ex­per­i­ments whether it be of the so­cial or for that mat­ter po­lit­i­cal do­main. You can have such ex­per­i­ments with the reli­gion even. The choice is yours. Nepal wel­comes peo­ple from across the globe, more so from Europe, to come to here and con­duct ex­per­i­ments of their taste and get the de­sired re­sults. As re­gards pol­i­tics, glad to share that In­dia, born 1947, has taken the bur­den on our be­half to con­duct ex­per­i­ments and then de­ter­mine for Nepal as to what sort of po­lit­i­cal sys­tem shall suit for us and who should be awarded the key po­lit­i­cal role in Nepal so that the care­fully picked up po­lit­i­cal per­son­al­ity (ties) be able to pass on the en­tire po­lit­i­cal de­tails of Nepal, in­clud­ing that of the se­cu­rity and the for­eign pol­icy re­lated is­sues. We have be­come Guinea Pigs. Ajit Do­val was in Sin­ga­pore play­ing tricks with Nepali pol­i­tics, we have been told. Thanks Shyam Saran for his dev­as­tat­ing acts that dam­aged Nepal to this ex­tent to which we our­selves had de­sired and now he has handed over his for­mer job to Ajit Bhai. He will ac­com­plish the rest of the tasks which Saran left un­fin­ished like the Mad­hesh up­ris­ing that di­vided the na­tion into two equal halves. Thanks for his mag­na­nim­ity. In­dia per­son­ally has taken also the bur­den of fo­ment­ing trou­bles in Nepal, both in­ter­nal as well ex­ter­nal, as she thinks that poor Nepali peo­ple have no guts to cre­ate ugly po­lit­i­cal scenes and so she more of­ten than not takes ap­pro­pri­ate steps that even en­cour­ages the peo­ple here for ini­ti­at­ing a regime change move­ment of the sort of what we have had in the year 2005-6. Our own vi­brant me­dia as­sists the In­dian regime in mak­ing Nepali pol­i­tics volatile. Nepal be­lieves now in spon­sored move­ments. In­dia is not how­ever, alone in these events. Some of our own bril­liant Quis­lings side with the In­dian regime in or­der to speed up the In­dian try­outs be­ing car­ried in Nepal. In turn the do­mes­tic quis­lings are paid se­cretly for their mar­velous job done in in­sult­ing their own moth­er­land. It has be­come a part time job of some of us to keep them­selves en­gaged in serv­ing aliens and their in­ter­ests al­beit which is not for free. So it be­comes our bounden duty to be of some help in as­sist­ing In­dia so that she too could find it­self mired in prob­lems of the sort of which we have been fac­ing since 2005-6 and to mark our bond of friend­ship with In­dia we too have dared to talk of the Khal­is­tan move­ment that has taken a new mo­men­tum be­gin­ning this 12 Au­gust and the venue has been the Trafal­gar Square in Lon­don wherein the lo­cal Sikh pop­u­la­tion in close as­so­ci­a­tion with the Sikh Com­mu­nity re­sid­ing in UK, USA and Canada wherein they in no un­cer­tain terms de­manded the cre­ation of Khal­is­tan-a sep­a­rate coun­try for the en­tire Pun­jabi pop­u­la­tion. In fact, the Sikh com­mu­nity which hails mainly from Pun­jab have been de­mand­ing Khal­is­tan since the early 1980s more so af­ter the 1984 Sikh mas­sacre. No­tably, thou­sands of Sikhs were ten­ta­tively butchered by the In­dian gov­ern­ment to seek re­venge the killing of the then In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Indira Gandhi. The scared Sikh pop­u­la­tion then pre­ferred to leave In­dia for good and take shel­ter abroad where they would live a se­cured life. In the process, the Sikhs ac­cu­mu­lated in the UK, the US and Canada pri­mar­ily. A small chunk of the ter­ri­fied Sikhs en­tered into Nepal and could now be seen in the Ku­pan­dole area in Kath­mandu where one Gu­rud­wara stands tall for the wor­ship of their Guru. To re­call, the Queen of in­de­pen­dent and sovereign King­dom of Pun­jab, Ma­ha­rani Zind Kaur, the con­sort of Ma­haraja Ran­jeet Singh had taken shel­ter in Nepal long time back dur­ing the time of Prime Min­is­ter Jung Ba­hadur Rana. Jang Ba­hadur granted asy­lum to the queen on hu­man­i­tar­ian grounds, his­to­ri­ans have put the facts in the record. The Sikhs have taken Nepal as their own moth­er­land and in turn the peo­ple of Nepal too have taken them as their own brothers and sis­ters. The same treat­ment per­haps they get in the coun­tries wherein they have now set­tled them­selves. In UK and Canada to say the least, sev­eral Sikhs have be­come a part of the pol­i­tics of the coun­tries they are now set­tled. In Canada sev­eral Sikhs have been hold­ing key po­lit­i­cal po­si­tions much to the dis­com­fort of the In­dian gov­ern­ment, we have been told. Grow­ing num­bers and eco­nomic suc­cess has helped hard­liner Sikhs to join ac­tive pol­i­tics in many Western coun­tries. In the UK elec­tion in June 2017, Sikh di­as­pora worked over­time to get a tur­ban wear­ing MP elected to the UK par­lia­ment and so is with the Sikhs re­sid­ing in Canada. Four Sikhs are now in Justin Trudeau's cab­i­net. The Sikhs liv­ing other than In­dia take the 1984 event of Delhi as the day of Sikhs geno­cide to which the In­dian gov­ern­ment de­nies. Nepali peo­ple ad­mit that the road trans­porta­tion net­works took a real shape with the Sikhs re­sid­ing in Kath­mandu and Bir­ganj. The Lok Bhakta Trans­port es­tab­lished by Sri Pree­tam Singh is con­sid­ered to be the great­est con­tri­bu­tion made by Pun­jabi na­tion­als to Nepal. Sev­eral Pun­jabi fam­i­lies have set­tled for good in Bi­rat­na­gar, Bhaira­hava and Nepal­gunj as well. Now let's visit Lon­don: News agen­cies and sev­eral TV Chan­nels have re­ported that a pro- and an anti-Khal­is­tan rally took place in cen­tral Lon­don on Sun­day, with a con­sid­er­able British po­lice pres­ence. (Based on TV chan­nels). In a rally at the Trafal­gar Square, over 2,000 pro-Khal­is­tan demon­stra­tors took part in sup­port of a non-bind­ing ref­er­en­dum in 2020, pop­u­larly known as the Lon­don Dec­la­ra­tion, for an in­de­pen­dent and sovereign Sikh na­tion. The group was or­ga­nized, news re­ports say, by the US-based group Sikhs for Jus­tice, though the rally at­tracted demon­stra­tors from across the United King­dom and var­i­ous parts of Europe. Chant­ing slo­gans such as “Khal­is­tan Zind­abad”, the demon­stra­tors waved flags and wore T-Shirts sup­port­ing the ref­er­en­dum. Along­side speeches and chant­ing prayers took place. Sat Siri Akal…Jo Bo­ley So Ni­hal…. Among those to speak at the rally was Lord Nazir Ahmed, a non-af­fil­i­ated mem­ber of the House of Lords, who or­ga­nized an anti-In­dia rally out­side the In­dian High Com­mis­sion on Re­pub­lic Day ear­lier this year. “I be­lieve in Khal­is­tan for my Sikh brothers and sis­ters,” he said at the rally. Like­wise, pro-In­dia sup­port­ers too ap­peared in the scene in or­der to blunt the ef­forts of the cham­pi­ons of the Khal­is­tan move­ment which, un­doubt­edly, has taken al­ready a dim form which time per­mit­ting may take a for­mal struc­ture with life should the Khal­is­tan or­ga­niz­ers strengthen their or­ga­ni­za­tion and reach out to the peo­ple of their own com­mu­nity across the globe in the days ahead with to­tal com­mit­ment. Pun­jab as stated ear­lier was a sovereign and in­de­pen­dent na­tion ruled by King Ran­jeet Singh. La­hore was Pun­jab Cap­i­tal which now falls in Pak­istan. The Pun­jab King hon­ored the Gorkha soldiers. The ju­bi­lant Sikhs in Lon­don had the ban­ners that read “Free Pun­jab, End In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion”, “Pun­jab Ref­er­en­dum 2020 for Khal­is­tan” and “We will re-es­tab­lish Pun­jab as an in­de­pen­dent coun­try”. The proud and en­er­getic Sikhs of all ages chanted in fa­vor of Khal­is­tan and had all the ap­pro­pri­ate neg­a­tive words for In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion. The In­dian gov­ern­ment has ex­pressed for­mal con­cern to Lon­don over the ac­tiv­ity of ex­pa­tri­ate Sikh na­tion­als who want to cre­ate a home­land of

Khal­is­tan in In­dia's north­ern Pun­jab state. Gur­pat­want S. Pan­nun, le­gal ad­viser to Sikhs for Jus­tice, said at the rally, “This is a peace­ful, demo­cratic cam­paign to give Sikhs the right to de­ter­mine their own fu­ture.” Jas Singh, 26, a demon­stra­tor from Lon­don, told AFP news agency that “In In­dia, any­body who speaks for a ref­er­en­dum gets picked up and put in jail.” Cor­rect as­sess­ment of what In­dia is. There was a small coun­ter­demon­stra­tion of about a dozen peo­ple singing and hold­ing up signs say­ing: “We stand for one united In­dia.” The voice was fee­ble and went un­heard thus. Modi sup­port­ers nat­u­rally came out in de­nounc­ing the Khal­is­tan move­ment. To re­call, Modi tried his best to split Nepal some two years ago and for that Delhi en­gi­neered a dan­ger­ous re­volt in Nepal's Terai-Mad­hesh, how­ever, the na­tion­al­ist and pa­tri­otic Nepali na­tion­als un­der­stood the Modi trick­ery and turned down to dance to the tune of alien forces. This saved Nepal. In­dia is more than in­ter­ested in split­ting other na­tions, how­ever, when it comes to In­dia it­self, Delhi gets ir­ri­tated. Evil eyes are still on Nepal. Now that the Pun­jabis across the globe have al­ready vowed to have their own na­tion, they shall have it al­beit it may take some time. The UK gov­ern­ment had sent a for­mal Note Ver­bale to New Delhi in ad­vance af­ter In­dia re­peat­edly raised con­cerns over the Ref­er­en­dum 2020 event to be held in Lon­don on Au­gust 12 by Sikhs for Jus­tice (SFJ). The UK gov­ern­ment in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion con­veyed its in­abil­ity in block­ing the event cit­ing the right that al­lows “peo­ple to gather to­gether and to demon­strate their views, pro­vided that they do so within the law”. Stat­ing that its po­lice “have com­pre­hen­sive pow­ers to deal with such ac­tiv­i­ties," the re­sponse said that “any groups who spread hate or de­lib­er­ately raise com­mu­nity fears and ten­sions by bring­ing dis­or­der and vi­o­lence to our towns and cities” will not be tol­er­ated though. Back to our own do­mes­tic pol­i­tics. PM Modi is once again land­ing in Kath­mandu which has scared the peo­ple in that they take Modi's ar­rival as an in­aus­pi­cious mo­ment for the peo­ple and the coun­try as has been wit­nessed in the past. Modi, the most un­wanted guest that he is, this time is sure to dis­turb the peace and sta­bil­ity of this coun­try. Modi shall in all like­li­hood press Nepal and its rulers to train their eyes to Look South as had al­ready been in­structed by one In­dian in­di­vid­ual called Ram Mad­hav on July 31, 2018 right be­ing in Kath­mandu. Modi has yet to seek apolo­gies from the peo­ple of Nepal as sug­gested by Brahma Chel­lany. More fright­en­ing is the news that the for­mer Nepal Maoists Chair­man Com­rade Prachanda who resided for some good ten years in Delhi to wage his spon­sored peo­ple's war against Nepal, is all set to visit New Delhi as the gov­ern­ment guest. The Delhi in­doc­tri­nated po­lit­i­cal fig­ure of Nepal is vis­it­ing In­dia be­gin­ning Septem­ber 7 next month. Ob­servers take this Prachanda visit to New Delhi as to have been “cal­cu­lat­edly” planned to bring in fis­sure in the UML-Maoists uni­fi­ca­tion so that PM Oli falls flat. Chances re­main fair that Prachanda shall not deny to what he is be­ing told by Delhi to act against PM Oli upon his re­turn. Though Oli too is a man com­fort­ably close to In­dian regime but yet com­par­a­tively speak­ing Prachanda is much closer to Delhi. So Oli would do well to take ex­tra care and tighten his grip in the power struc­ture be­fore it is too late. Sim­i­larly, af­ter Delhi, Prachanda is vis­it­ing China. He is talked to have been act­ing like a mid­dle­man in be­tween Delhi and Bei­jing for ma­te­ri­al­iz­ing the much talked idea of tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion among the three coun­tries e.g. Nepal, In­dia and China. Bei­jing knows that Da­hal is In­dia man but yet re­poses trust on him. How­ever, Bei­jing must take care for mul­ti­ple rea­sons. If Bei­jing is happy with Com­rade Da­hal, ob­servers here too have no prob­lem with their prob­lems. In the mean­while, the Mal­dives has snubbed In­dia in the re­cent days. The Ar­chi­pel­ago na­tion wants In­dia to with­draw mil­i­tary he­li­copters and per­son­nel posted there fol­low­ing the ex­piry of an agree­ment in June, its en­voy said, the lat­est snub to New Delhi by Pres­i­dent Ab­dul­lah Yameen. The Mal­dives in the re­cent months has pre­ferred to free it­self from In­dian dom­i­na­tion and thus ap­par­ently inched close to China. It is widely be­lieved that In­dia and China are go­ing head to head in the Mal­dives, the In­dian Ocean is­land chain where Bei­jing is build­ing roads, bridges and a big­ger air­port, up­stag­ing In­dia which has been the coun­try's prime provider of mil­i­tary and civil­ian aid for decades. China has re­placed In­dia in South Asian re­gion. In­dia has op­posed Yameen's crack­down on po­lit­i­cal ri­vals and the im­po­si­tion of an emer­gency this year and some of the pres­i­dent's ri­vals have called on New Delhi for mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion, cre­at­ing wor­ries in the Mal­di­vian gov­ern­ment. Modi for sure dis­likes the in­cum­bent Mal­di­vian Pres­i­dent Yameen. Baby Bhutan too has in the re­cent days and week's dis­tanced it­self with In­dia in that Thimpu very re­cently ini­ti­ated high level talks with Bei­jing as dis­cussed last week in this col­umn. So Bangladesh re­mains still closer to In­dia for some time to come. The US de­nied but yet the Pak­istani mil­i­tary of­fi­cers are likely to re­ceive train­ing in Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion mil­i­tary in­sti­tutes un­der a re­cent agree­ment signed by Pak­istan and Rus­sia. The deal un­der­scores Pak­istan's in­creas­ing friend­ship with Rus­sia for its mil­i­tary needs amid strained re­la­tions with the U.S. It was signed ear­lier this week dur­ing a visit by Rus­sian Deputy De­fense Min­is­ter Col. Gen. Alexan­der Fomin. The deal comes as lo­cal me­dia re­ported the U.S. has stopped fi­nanc­ing mil­i­tary train­ing in the U.S. for Pak­istani soldiers - a step that Pak­istani Sen. Mushahid Hus­sain called "wrong and coun­ter­pro­duc­tive for some mys­te­ri­ous rea­sons. With Im­ran Khan's emer­gence as the new guard of Pak­istan, new align­ments are tak­ing place re­plac­ing the old ones which ten­ta­tively adds strength to the say­ing that in in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics, na­tional in­ter­ests guide the friend­ship which is what has been hap­pen­ing with Pak­istan. In the mean­while, Im­ran Khan is all set to be sworn in as new PM of Pak­istan on 18 Au­gust. While we are writ­ing this story, Pak­istan's newly elected par­lia­ment con­vened this Mon­day for the first time since last month's gen­eral elec­tions that saw the party of for­mer cricket star turned politi­cian Im­ran Khan win most seats, pro­pel­ling him to­ward the post of the coun­try's next prime min­is­ter, writes Mu­nir Ahmed and Zarar Khan for the As­so­ci­ated Press, from ISLAMABAD. The law­mak­ers were sworn in at a brief cer­e­mony in the 342seat Na­tional As­sem­bly, the de­ci­sion-mak­ing lower house of par­lia­ment. Later on Mon­day, a fireworks dis­play marked the eve of Pak­istan's In­de­pen­dence Day writes Mu­nir and Zarar Khan. The par­lia­ment is to elect a speaker and his deputy on Wed­nes­day and vote on the prime min­is­ter the fol­low­ing day. The swear­ing-in cer­e­mony for the prime min­is­ter is due Satur­day. Mr. Khan's pop­ulist Tahreek-e-In­saf party won 115 seats in the July 25 vote, re­quir­ing it to form a coali­tion. For the Road: In­ter­est­ingly, Ish­tiaq Ali Mehkri for the Khaleej Times writes of the CPEC with the story ti­tled CPEC is South Asia's des­tiny, dated Au­gust 13 that “As far as Pak­istan is con­cerned, CPEC is life­line for de­vel­op­ment, and is the eas­i­est way out to over­come stag­na­tion. It is in­tended to pro­mote con­nec­tiv­ity across the length and breadth of Pak­istan by build­ing a net­work of high­ways, rail­ways, and en­ergy pipe­lines, in­evitably up­grad­ing the frag­ile in­fra­struc­ture for a new era of de­vel­op­ment. CPEC-led com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­ergy projects are a bless­ing in dis­guise for Pak­istan's reclu­sive re­gions, es­pe­cially in its north to­wards China and the restive Baluchis­tan prov­ince. These projects, more­over, have brought new hope among the peo­ple, and pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in na­tional de­vel­op­ment and faith in their promis­ing fu­ture has buoyed. The news­pa­per fur­ther writes that “This new trade link­age on the re­gional level that con­nects China to the In­dian Ocean, link­ing the Chi­nese city of Kash­gar to the Pak­istani port of Gwadar, is an epoch-mak­ing strate­gic de­vel­op­ment, and could act as a game-changer in in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics. It col­lab­o­rates with the 'One Belt, One Road' ini­tia­tive out­lined by Bei­jing in March 2015, as the highly am­bi­tious plan calls for re­newed in­vest­ment in roads, rail­ways, pipe­lines, ports and in­for­ma­tion net­works to fur­ther eco­nomic con­nec­tiv­ity across Asia and into Africa and Europe. Nepal is happy in that the PM in wait­ing in Pak­istan has al­ready send pos­i­tive signals to In­dia which means that Khan has kept the op­tion for a com­pos­ite di­a­logue with In­dia in or­der to sort out their long stand­ing dis­putes. Modi too ap­pears en­er­getic. Let's see who re­mains true to the com­mit­ments made. For­mer Mil­i­tary ruler Parvez Musar­raf has told one In­dian news chan­nel that Im­ran Khan shall learn the needed lessons on how to steer the na­tion be­ing at the helm of af­fairs of the State. He has also ad­vised Mr. Khan to con­cen­trate his en­tire ef­forts in ad­dress­ing the pains of the peo­ple of Pak­istan for the peo­ple have voted in his fa­vor hop­ing that a new Pak­istan is just round the cor­ner un­der the pa­tron­age of Khan. That's all.

N.P. UPAD­HYAYA (Tele­graph Nepal ed­i­tor@ tele­graph­nepal.com)

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