Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday criticised former Union Minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid for the comments made in the latter’s book, Sunrise over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times, even as two Delhi lawyers filed complaints with Delhi Police against Khurshid.
“We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology, but comparing it with ISIS and jihadist Islam is factually wrong and an exaggeration,” Azad said about a passage in Salman Khurshid’s book on the Ayodhya verdict. Khurshid is facing legal issues with the release of his book. Two Delhi lawyers have filed complaints with the Delhi Police against Khurshid, for allegedly defaming and comparing Hinduism with terrorism in his book.
Advocate Vivek Garg in his complaint is seeking to file a case against Khurshid. The complaint alleges that in Khurshid’s new book, which was released last week, Salman Khurshid has compared Hindutva to radical terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. Khurshid stated in his new book: “Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years,” the complaint said.
“This reflects the true mindset of Congress as they try to legitimize the radical elements of ISIS by creating an artificial equivalence with Hindus. His statement printed in his book is itself self-explanatory and clearly discloses his commission of the cognizable offence. The language, intention of the said book authored by the alleged accused, is an open case of sedition, conspiracy to wage the war against India, promoting enmity between Hindus-Muslims, etc,” Garg’s complaint said.
Meanwhile, Advocate Vineet Jindal in his complaint said that the statement published in the said book is not only instigating and provoking but also stirring emotions among followers of the Hindu religion. “Our Constitution provides every citizen with the freedom of speech and expression but the misuse of this right is inexplicable when it threatens the honour and harmony of the country and provokes its citizens based on community and religion and threatens the security of the nation then it is considered as a grave offence. The contents of the statement made by the accused claim Hinduism to be equivalent to ISIS and Boko Haram, which are terrorist groups. It is a quite aggravating and defamatory statement for the whole Hindu community and also questions their values and virtues about society. The equivalence of Hinduism to ISIS and Boko Haram is perceived as a negative ideology Hindus have been following and Hinduism is violent, inhuman and oppressive,” Jindal’s complaint read.
The accused by making the above-cited statement in his book has committed offences under Sections153,153A, 298 and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which are cognizable offences and very serious, the lawyer’s complaint stated.
Sources said on Thursday that Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is currently in the national capital, has cancelled her visit to Lucknow and is expected to meet Salman Khurshid.
Meanwhile, the BJP launched a scathing attack on Khurshid and demanded that the Congress sack him from the party. During a press conference, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said the remarks not only “hurt the sentiments of Hindus but also deeply hurt the soul of India.”
Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi also slammed the Congress. “A book comparing Hindutva to terror outfits ISIS & Boko Haram, is an attempt to demonise Hindu religion that has only spoken of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Half-baked information can get your book publicity, but unnecessary consequences of hurting sentiments of millions of Hindus. Shame,” she tweeted.
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PAK ENVOY MEETS TALIBAN’S ACTING FM, DISCUSSES BILATERAL COOPERATION
KABUL: Pakistan’s envoy to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan met Taliban acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and discussed bilateral cooperation between both countries.
“Pakistan Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan met with acting FM Amir Khan Muttaqi and discussed bilateral cooperation, Khan said.
Pakistan has decided that wheat and emergency medicine provided by India can be transported from Wagah port in Pakistan on Afghan trucks to Afghanistan,” Tolo News reported.
Earlier, Pakistan’s envoy and the Taliban acting foreign minister met in the month of September where both sides discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation particularly facilitating humanitarian, economic and people-to-people exchange.
Pakistan, along with China were among the first countries that began engaging with Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August this year.
The meeting came amid the Taliban’s repeated appeal for wider international recognition. Pakistan is among the very few which seem to have started engaging with the outfit. Other members of the international community are taking a wait and watch approach.
TLP expanding after release of its leader Saad Hussain Rizvi
Formerly banned organisation Tehreek-E-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is on a surge after the release of its leader Saad Hussain Rizvi and revoking of its ban by the Imran Khan government.
According to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), there was a rather secret deal between TLP and the Imran Khan government reached on October 31 to end the latest round of protests. The deal was not made public and on November 7, Khan’s cabinet revoked the declaration of the TLP as a banned group. The TLP benefitted mainly from the divisions between the PML-Nawaz government and the military establishment deep state’, IFFRAS said, adding that Pakistan military establishment’s effort to prop up different religious groups to deteriorate the PML-Nawaz government permitted the TLP to increase greater political space. Earlier, Rizvi was released on the eve of his father, Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s death anniversary on November 19 who was the founder of TLP.
Further, the TLP capable of mobilising thousands of supporters, was born in the year 2015 out of a remonstration movement to the Barelvi movement.
US ready to support Ukraine, help Kiev with defence
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says Washington is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and is ready to support Kiev.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, Austin said that the US is “very concerned” about the alleged buildup of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border and will try to ensure that Kiev “has what it needs” to defend its “sovereign territory.” The Pentagon chief said he was not going to speculate on different scenarios pertaining to the alleged Russian aggression on its borders.
Over the past several weeks, Ukraine and some Western countries have expressed concern about the alleged increase in what they characterise as “aggressive actions” by Russia on their border. However, Russia has refuted the accusations by saying it is moving troops within its own territory and at its own discretion.
US President Joe Biden plans to discuss the issue of Ukraine, as well as other topics, during the upcoming video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, December 7.
Biden told reporters earlier this week, answering a question about the issue of Ukraine, that he expected a “long discussion” with the Russian President.
Russia has repeatedly said that it stands by its right to move armed forces freely within its territory. On November 23, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Russia does not have any aggressive plans with regard to Ukraine. The Kremlin has also expressed concerns about Kiev having aggregated almost half of all its armed forces on the contact line with the Donbas region in the east of the country.
EXPLOSIONS HEARD INSIDE US BASE IN SYRIA
Explosions were heard on Sunday inside a US military base in Syria, state news agency SANA reported.
The blasts were heard in the al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria, Xinhua news agency reported. Back in late October, the US base of At Tanf came under a drone attack. The White House believes that the recent attack on its military base in Syria was “deliberate and coordinated” and the United States reserves the right to respond.
CHINA CREATES ATMOSPHERE THAT EMBOLDENS MILITARY TO SEIZE POWER IN AFRICA
As Western powers continue to retreat from Africa, China is busy creating an atmosphere that emboldens generals and military cliques to seize power in one of the largest continent in the world, said a media report.
In an opinion piece for Al Jazeera, Harvard University lecturer Christopher Rhodes said that “backsliding on the part of Western powers, the rise of autocrat-friendly China, have created an atmosphere in Africa that emboldens generals and military cliques to seize power.” Rhodes further wrote that the coup, which had been widely rumoured in Sudan but still managed to blindside the United States, remains a source of outrage for Sudanese citizens. But Washington is yet to take a clear stance on the issue, Rhodes said.
According to the lecturer, the reaction from the West has diverged widely from that of Sudanese citizens, who continue to reject military hegemony. The report says that American diplomats have signaled acceptance of the new arrangement and willingness to turn a blind eye to the continued military dominance of the transition government.
This brings focus to the breakdown of the anti-coup coalition that had formed for Africa – a breakdown that has led to military interventions reemerging as a leading method by which power is transferred on the continent, Rhodes added.
Noting that the fight for democracy and against military rule in Africa has seen significant setbacks, Rhodes said while African populations remain overwhelmingly committed to democracy and opposed to military governments, the lack of reliable international pro-democracy partners makes the struggle against military rule much more difficult.
But as the sustained anti-military protests in Sudan demonstrate, local populations are willing to continue the fight for democracy, even if they must go it alone, said the lecturer.
PROTEST IN COLOMBO AGAINST LYNCHING OF SRI LANKAN EXECUTIVE IN PAKISTAN
A protest was held outside Pakistan High Commission in Colombo on Sunday by a large crowd, including a group of monks, against the killing of a Sri Lankan national in Sialkot city of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan executive of a garment factory was lynched and his body burnt by angry supporters of a hardline Islamist party that attacked the facility in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations on Friday.
A police official alleged that Kumara tore a poster of the hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in which Quranic verses were inscribed and threw it in the dustbin. A mob enraged over the alleged blasphemy incident, started gathering outside the factory from adjoining areas, most of them activists and supporters of the TLP.
They dragged the Sri Lankan executive, who was in his 40s, from the factory and severely tortured him. After he succumbed to his wounds, the mob burnt his body before police reached the crime spot. Late on Friday, Punjab police said they have arrested 100 suspects, after identifying them through video footage that went viral on social media.
Expressing grief over the lynching of his country’s citizen in Pakistan, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha said that he was “shocked to see the brutal and fatal attack” on Priyantha Diyawadana by “extremist mobs in Pakistan”.
“My heart goes out to his wife and family”, Rajapaksha said in a tweet.
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