The Indian government has provided the United States considerable evidence of links between US-based Khalistan groups and terrorists, and terrorists operating in India, but Washington has been largely “unresponsive”, says a report by a top American think tank, which also noted that cooperation between Khalistani and Kashmiri groups has become increasingly apparent in North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe.
In a report titled “Pakistan’s Destabilization Playbook: Khalistani Activism within the US”, the Hudson Institute said that “perhaps the most worrisome aspect of US-based Khalistan agitation is the likelihood that Pakistan’s intelligence agency is responsible to a considerable degree.” The report says there is recent increase in “Khalistan-related anti-India activism within the US” and that the likelihood of Khalistan groups receiving funding, support, and military training from Pakistan is also substantive.
The report calls for action by the US government in respect to Khalistan groups and says that all groups responsible for terrorist attacks in India should be included in its list of designated global terrorist groups. The report notes that New Delhi has made appeal for action against such groups.
“Unfortunately, the United States government has shown no interest in violence committed by Khalistan activists, even though the Khalistan campaign’s most ardent supporters are located in western countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Despite urgent Indian requests to these countries to curb Khalistan separatist groups within their borders, their governments have remained unresponsive to India’s appeals,” the report said.
“Making these demurrals all the more puzzling is the increasing involvement over the last decade of Khalistani groups with Pakistan’s so-called Kashmiri groups, who have also become the focus of American intelligence and policy communities,” it added. The report has been prepared by a study group that includes Dr Aparna Pande, Director, Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia and Husain Haqqani, Director for South and Central Asia. The report said: “Cooperation between Khalistani and Kashmiri groups has become increasingly apparent in North America, the United Kingdom, and Europe, with Kashmiri and Khalistani activists often operating in tandem” and noted that that joint protests of Khalistani and Kashmiri separatists have occurred in Washington DC, Houston, Ottawa, London, Brussels, Geneva, and other European capitals.
“Importantly, the recent increase in Khalistan-related anti-India activism within the US is occurring as the United States and India are collaborating to confront the rise of China, especially in the Indo-Pacific. Pakistan is a critical Chinese ally and therefore has a vested interest in weakening this India-US collaboration,” the report said. It noted that campaigns such as the one for Khalistan could also serve to distract Washington and New Delhi from strengthening the Quad (Australia, India, Japan, US) partnership.
“Acknowledging the strategic objective of mobilizing the peer rivals of the US and their primary South Asian ally against India, one of the most active Khalistan separatist groups in the US recently published open letters to the leaders of Russia, China, and Pakistan requesting their support,” it said.
“The Indian government has provided the US government considerable evidence of links between US-based Khalistan groups and militants and terrorists operating in India. The likelihood of Khalistan groups receiving funding, support, and military training from Pakistan is also substantive. The US should therefore take India’s concerns seriously and dedicate the requisite intelligence and law enforcement resources to help India address these concerns,” the report added.
It suggested six-point action to the US government with respect to Khalistan groups. “Include all groups responsible for terrorist attacks in India in its list of designated global terrorist groups; designate as terrorists the various individuals that India and US intelligence and law enforcement have established as being connected to designated terrorist entities; apply terror financing laws and regulations to the various groups espousing Kashmiri and Khalistan separatism,” it said.
“Investigate US-based groups espousing Kashmiri and Khalistan separatism for possible violations of US laws related to foreign funding; use legal means established specifically to combat terrorism, including FISA warrants, to monitor suspected Kashmiri and Khalistan terrorism sympathizers and advocates,” it added. The Hudson Institute report noted that the US government cannot afford to allow separatist movements from India, including those with ties to militant and terrorist groups, to grow unchecked among its otherwise lawabiding Sikh community.
“Its experience with Islamist extremist groups must serve as a template for dealing with Khalistan extremists.”
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NEED FOR FAMILY OFFICES TO WORK TOGETHER UNDER A CO-INVESTMENT STRUCTURE: JAHNAVI KUMARI MEWAR
Jahnavi Kumari Mewar, CEO and Senior Portfolio Manager at Auctus Fora, talks about her business firm along with insights on internationalism, effective global governance practices and the way forward in the post-Covid world.
Jahnavi Kumari Mewar recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, she spoke to us about her business firm along with insights on internationalism, effective global governance practices and the way forward for the post-Covid world.
Jahnavi commenced her talk by speaking about the creation of Auctus Fora and its uniqueness. She said “Auctus fora was born with a need to work with family offices (preferably) without a fund structure in place. If I take a small step back, I initially worked for JP Morgan from where I decided to set up a boutique investment bank and as that business developed and progressed, I had developed very meaningful relationships with family offices globally. We found that there was a significant need for family offices to work together under a co-investment structure rather than that of a fund. Moving on we decided to set up a co-investment platform, entirety focused on private acuity and private structure credit working with family offices globally. It’s a unique model because we work on the ‘reverse origination methodology’ developed in 2011. We use this methodology to make investment decisions and direct our investment philosophy.”
When asked about how pandemic months have been for her and her firm, she responded “I think based on facts that firstly we are directed to an asset. Secondly, we don’t do listed securities and are a private acuity focused and private structure credit that organically gives you a lot more control over your investment decisions. I am very rigid when it comes to the investment decision making process. For example, we’ll never chase dues or get into a bidding war as I believe that if you get your buying price wrong then you already made a big mistake in terms of capital allocation and investment process. In such disruptive times when others have faced upheavals, we have ramped up because of our decent decision making. Based on that what we have done over the past 15 months is that the assets which we felt will continue to give long term returns and are relatively resilient to the disruptions caused by global pandemic and lockdown, we have reinvested capital or added additional capital into those assets and portfolios. So, at a macro level, we have reinvested capital into our portfolios and at a micro level, into select asset portfolios. I mean not to say that we haven’t felt pain but we have been more resilient.”
Explaining the post-Covid global economic changes, she expressed, “What we are seeing globally is an unprecedented crisis for which a lot of nations have lacked institutional memory because they have never experienced something like this before. In the absence of institutional memory, there is institutional unpreparedness. I think that the responsibility and accountability of this crisis don’t solely sit with the current government because there have been decades of under-investment in the public healthcare infrastructure. Instead, the present government has put concentrated efforts towards formulating new public policies. It is my personal opinion that unfortunately, the government lacks sophistication in its policymaking. Therefore they come across significant opposition to their policies.”
When it comes to changing global supply chains, Jahnavi described “let’s look at global supply chains from both political and economic perspectives. Politically speaking, we have fallen short on collective action and there has been a crisis of global governance. Supply chains and global governance can work hand in hand. A good small scale example is of QUAD members who have been working together and have been multilaterally more effective. So when we talk of re-engineering global supply chains, we have to look at from the perspective that are we going to create an incentivising engagement that affects better global governance practices.”
Lastly speaking about the importance of institutions like QUAD as representative of the changing world over institutions like UN and WHO, she said “QUAD is a great example of a force for global good. WHO has been less effective than QUAD as it has been dispersing contradictory information globally, it along with the UN have failed to garner collective action for a global solution to the pandemic. QUAD is a representation of the way forward. We need to re-engineer a pragmatic form of internationalism which meets the needs for today and future.”
INDIA-BORN SINGER FEATURES ON UK’S BBC RADIO
The latest composition of the Indian born, London-based singer Saisha Hayes’s ‘One Way ticket’ was selected by UK’s BBC Radio to be played on its platform on Monday night.
At 20, she is among the youngest singer-songwriters to feature on BBC radio and her song was selected among the pool of well-established names.
BBC Radio 1 Leeds chose Saisha’s composition under the “Best modern Asian fusion music”. While the words of the song have been penned by her, the music has been composed by Rohit (Foenix). The song, sung by Saisha, had earlier featured on the coveted ‘Rolling Stones’ India hitlist.
She is a second-year student of King’s College, London and the granddaughter of Hindi literary giant and former IAS officer Bhagwati Sharan Mishra, who passed away last month.
The song is being played on all major music platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube.
IT’S TOUGH FOR PLAYERS TO STAY IN A BIO BUBBLE, SAYS MURALI KARTIK
In an exclusive conversation with NewsX India A-List, former cricketer Murali Kartik talks about his lockdown experiences, how he felt being part of the IPL in a bio bubble, and much more.
Murali Kartik, a former Indian cricketer and a popular figure in commentary, is well-known for his slow left-arm orthodox bowling. Having charmed cricket lovers across the world with his bowling skills, Murali Kartik recently got recognised by NewsX India A-List for excellence in Cricket. Joining us for an exclusive conversation, he spoke about his lockdown experiences, how he felt being part of the IPL in a bio bubble and much more.
Speaking about his emotions and experiences during the second wave of Covid-19, in the wake of which IPL was first postponed and later stopped in middle, Murli said, “Pandemic has been a tough one for everyone but more so for people on the ground. We were actually much protected as a commentary team. With that point of view, we didn’t have many problems but I can imagine teams travelling and engaging in contracts would have been tougher amid the pandemic.”
“Since last year, I got the feeling that as soon as a little bit of unlocking starts people got careless. It is our responsibility to make sure that we don’t go out till the time we aren’t needed to go out. Most important of all is we should all be happy in our homes and not feel entrapped into them. We can only control the controllable,” he added.
When asked about the concept of bio bubble, especially in cricket, which is a contact game, Murali responded, “People in bio bubble is never easy. We need to return to normalcy. We all are missing luxuries of life which are not to go around in expensive restaurants but to simply move around with freedom and without a mask; meet our people without the fear of either contacting with the virus or passing it to someone else. That is the normal luxury. From a sports point of view, it’s tough for players to stay in a bio bubble. There’s a life beyond a sport. Hopefully, we come back to normalcy soon.”
Speaking about what the players have missed out in almost past two years of time is very evident now, he said “Unfortunately, it’s same for everyone. People who had to write exams are unable to do it and are sitting home. For sportspeople, the Olympics has been postponed and rescheduled. So, imagine all the athletes, who worked so hard for it. We come back to the same thing that it’s for everyone. Now it is about mental strength and controlling the controllable. We need to be surrounded by positive people and thinking. We need to look inwardly because the easiest thing in these days is to get despondent.”
When asked about something new or novel he has picked up in the last few days, Murali shared, “To be honest, I have caught up in a lot of sleep these days at home. I am not someone who’ll sleep a lot. I have been the happiest being at home. The only thing I did in my 1st lockdown was to read Sai Suchadutta. I read it six to seven times. I have read books but apart from that I haven’t done any specific thing.”
Concluding the interview on a humorous note, he stated that he has been a couch potato watching many fun OTT programs during the lockdown. He added a funny but profound thing that we teach a dog to sit and stay but we are not able to do it ourselves.
JUST BE AUTHENTIC AND EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE: KARUNESH TALWAR
In an interview with NewsX, stand-up comedian Karunesh Talwar talks about his new show and more.
Karunesh Talwar, a well-known stand-up comedian, is all set to entertain the audiences with his stand-up special on Amazon Prime Video. Recognised for excellence in entertainment, Karunesh recently joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of the NewsX India A-List series. He spoke about his new show on Amazon Prime, the idea behind the name of the show, principles of stand-up comedy and much more.
Speaking about how he and the team happened to name the show ‘Aalas, Motapa, Ghabraahat’, Karunesh shared, “The name is part of joke punch line from the show itself. I had written the whole show, we shot it and while we were editing it, I was sitting with the show’s director and editor who suggested me to give the name ‘Aalas Motapa Ghabraahat’.” He added, “The first half of the show is about my parents and the other half is about my relationship with my girlfriend.”
Emphasising the relevance of these three words: Aalas, Motapa, and Ghabraahat, especially amid the pandemic, Karunesh said, “This happened subconsciously as I wrote this show during the pandemic. Also, it comes from the attempt to tell my story, which has to be really authentic and unique on stage. So these three words can describe a lot of people’s experiences during the pandemic.” On being asked to give three words to describe his last one and a half years, he jokingly said, “Aalas, Motapa, Ghabraahat. Apart from that, I think it would be lucky, motivated, and more anxious.”
When asked what makes this show different from others, he responded, “Usually you write material about certain subjects that is about eight to nine minutes per subject covering about six to seven subjects over an hour show. Here, I had only two topics. I think it is a lot more in storytelling format and in long-form. That’s not what I have attempted before. It is much more personal and vulnerable than anything I have ever done before as it reveals aspects to my personality, which people who watch my content wouldn’t have been revealed to before.”
Karunesh is hopeful that it is the sign of more things like this coming from him in the future. He expressed, “One of the principles of live stand-up comedy is that if you are authentically telling your story, then you are the only one selling it and you are the only supplier of that particular kind of comedy. So, people will always buy it from you. You’ll also never run out of material because you are being authentic and not pretending up there.”
Talking about the public response on his last Amazon Prime show’s interesting title—‘Pata Nahi Par Bolna Hai’, Karunesh said, “The response was overwhelming and I got a lot of positive feedback. The fact that I am doing another show with Amazon Prime means that the last response was good. The title of that show came about because it was about a lot of people and me at the same time.”
When asked if his family and friends call him to share some light moments in otherwise heavy days, he expressed, “I think people often have a perception that comedians are hilarious and people around them are constantly laughing. No, they are constantly irritated by our existence. They haven’t called me for light moments but definitely, the advantage is to learn about therapy and how to balance mental health better.”
Sharing his takeaway from the pandemic, Karunesh said, “To be honest, I am extremely fortunate that my career picked up at the time it did. It allowed me to access work and resources that kept me tied in these unprecedented times. This allowed me to work on myself. It gave me time to introspect, write more material, and explore new avenues in my work. This is the reason why this new show is different from the kind of work I have done before.”
On a parting note, Karunesh shared a piece of advice for aspiring comedians and said, “Delayed gratification always beats instant gratification. If you have a funny thought, don’t put it out instantly instead work on it for about six months to one year. It will give you unimaginable success and opportunities. Respect your audience, be authentic, and write and perform as much as you can.”
PUNJAB CM DIRECTS GOVT OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES TO REACH OFFICE BY 9 AM
CHANDIGARH: In order to bring discipline in the government offices, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday directed all the government officers/employees at state/district/tehsil/block level to reach their concerned offices by 9 am and remain available for the public till the office hours in the evening.
The Chief Minister, while stressing the need of bringing transparency in the government offices also directed all the officers/employees to deal with all the grievances of the people on a priority basis.
“To ensure the availability of all the government officers/employees in the offices during official hours, Administrative Secretaries/Department Heads to conduct surprise checks twice a week to keep a vigil on the employees working under them,” said the CM.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also asked Administrative Secretaries/Department Heads to keep a close watch on the activities/records at their concerned offices.
PGI TREATS ACHING AMPUTATED LIMB WITH BIOFEEDBACK THERAPY
A patient who came with trauma in PGIMER Chandigarh got sepsis and unfortunately, doctors had to get his leg amputated. But the amputated leg was still aching. Sound Strange! But it’s a real pain that the brain feels called phantom pain. As per PGI Psychiatrist Dr Aseem Mehra, “The lost limb that is aching is a sign of phantom pain”. The Amputee Clinic is where Dr Mehra is treating the pain of that limb which no more exists in the patient’s body. This is a condition when the patient went through a trauma and lost his/her limb due to disease or accident. They still tend to feel the pain of lost limbs. It’s a clinical condition and a psychiatrist treats it with Biofeedback therapy. So that they may accept the trauma and learn to handle the new limb connected to their body with acceptance.
Amputee Clinic that recently got launched in PGIMER Chandigarh a few months back, has this facility under one roof. What is Biofeedback therapy? “Biofeedback therapy is a technique that trains people to improve their health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen unintentionally such as heart rate, BP, muscle tension, and skin temperature”, explains Psychiatrist Dr Mehra.
“In this technique, the patient tends to hear some music that keeps changing with the changes in his body and skin temperature. It is all clinical practice where we get to know when the patient is lying that he got relaxed after the therapy as signals do not lie,” adds Dr Mehra.
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