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ISI plans to use US, UN to tarnish Modi

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ISI plans to use US, UN to tarnish Modi

By MADHAV NALAPAT

The aim is to convince the international community that Government of India is intolerant and neglectful of minorities, women and Dalits in particular.

Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, in a series of meetings held in late July and early August, decided to “fire on the shoulders of the US and the UN” to tarnish the reputation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources within London, New York and Geneva say that the plan is to ensure the further penetration by the ISI, and its auxiliary elements, of groups which will be used to paint India as a semi-fascist state. The aim is to convince the international community that Government of India is intolerant and neglectful of minorities, women and Dalits. The ISI is trying to ensure that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva begins discussion on a complaint, which the Pakistan agency expects will get filed this year. The complaint will be by the US-based Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) and will contain strictures against the Modi government. According to a Washington-based expert, “16 of the 47 key NGOs (forming the CAG) have received partial or complete funding from the ISI”, directly or through channels in the Gulf Cooperation Council and friendly contacts in western countries. “Nine of the CAG’s key NGOs have extensive linkages with the Pakistan-American community, which is riddled with ISI sympathisers.” These NGOs are leading the charge against India.

Although some effort has gone in the past to spotlight cases of anti-Sikh violence, the focus has shifted since the Narendra Modi-led NDA II government took office on 26 May. The effort now is to manufacture testimony and contrive evidence to show that India is a country where three human rights violations are rife. These are (i) violence against women (ii) human trafficking and (iii) “genocide” of Christians and Muslims, all of this by Hindus.

According to a London-based source, through its global network “the ISI has funded the travel of 247 individuals from India to Washington, Geneva and other capitals from 2007 to 2011”. The purpose of such travel was to ensure that “testimony created and vetted in advance by ISI-linked individuals was given by such Indian nationals in the US Congress, the European Parliament and the UN Human Rights Council. Such assertions, the ISI colonels expect, will intensify already ongoing efforts to “depict India as a fascist state killing minorities and the disadvantaged in a systematic manner”.

The speed and depth of Modi’s diplomacy towards the SAARC countries has alarmed the ISI, which for the past 16 years has watched Delhi’s footprint become fainter and fainter in the region. “The warming of relations with Sri Lanka and Nepal has been particularly worrisome for the colonels in the ISI”, warned a London-based analyst, adding that “even worse is the fact that the public in both countries is now becoming more India-friendly”. According to his colleague, “the warmth with which Modi’s diplomacy was greeted by the Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka (which till now has been wary of India) and the cordiality with which even the Maoists greeted the Indian PM while he was in Kathmandu has sounded a warning to the ISI”, which till now has found a welcome mat in both countries, largely because of the distaste of large sections of the population towards India, the Buddhist majority in Sri Lanka and the Maoists in Nepal.

A key official in Geneva warns that “since 26 May 2014, individuals across India are being located by ISI cutouts”. These are those willing to present “black” (i.e. manufactured) testimony on the three human rights issues mentioned earlier. Another source from the same location claimed that “a mass grave relating to the Khalistan insurgency, which contained more than 50 bodies had been discovered in 2011 in Haryana” but that “the US administration had ensured that this be suppressed, as it did not want to embarrass the Congress Party”, which was in power in both the state as well as at the national level (when the incident was alleged to have taken place). Systematic efforts spread over years to discover mass graves of Muslims in Gujarat were abandoned in 2011 as futile, clearly because none existed.

These sources say that the objective of the ISI’s operation is to “character assassinate Prime Minister Modi by making NGOs penetrated by the ISI and its auxiliaries ensure that issues of genocide, violence against women, discrimination against Dalits and human trafficking enter the formal agenda of the UNHRC by mid-2015 at the latest”. Efforts directed at the US Congress and the European Parliament have also been intensified. A source said that the UK-based Channel 4 “will soon air a documentary about Singrauli in India”, which will paint the Modi government as being intolerant. Two individuals were named in this context, Krishan Gopal and Hugo Ward. However, these assertions could not be independently verified.

“The sizeable pro-Pakistan lobby in the US State Department and the Cold War residue of anti-India policymakers are working together with elements in contact with the ISI to ensure that hearings take place on Capitol Hill by mid-2015 at the latest that would bring together dozens of individuals with a coordinated message, that India is a hell on earth for minorities, women and Dalits”, according to a London source. The source adds that the ISI has a budget of $34 million to fund (through hidden affiliates) the stay and travel of the more than 300 individuals from India who have been selected to present perspectives before these organisations.

It may be remembered that much of the funding for such “black” operations comes from the narcotics trade and from printing counterfeit currency, especially Indian rupees. Sources in Washington warn that the ISI, along with the pro-Pakistan lobby and its allies of convenience amongst religious fundamentalists in the US, angered by various anti-conversion laws “has enough influence to ensure that staffers on Capitol Hill and agencies such as the US Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the European Parliament or the Geneva-based human rights organisations call only those who present a negative view on the Modi government”, a key official predicted, adding that “at such hearings, the other point of view is never heard”.

Another tack agreed upon by the ISI colonels at the meetings was to ensure that more cases get filed in US courts against key political figures in India (connected with the Union government) on the grounds of human rights abuses. Such a process has become possible because of the extra-territorial International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) passed by the US Congress a decade ago. This law gives US courts the power to accept a complaint from a national of any country against the leader of any other country, and is an extraordinary example of the way in which the US Congress believes itself to be the successor to the British Empire, “where the sun never set”. Interestingly, India has been lumped together with Afghanistan and Russia as a Tier 2 country under the law, rather than a Tier 1 country that (US authorities hold) upholds religious freedom. In a Tier 2 country, violations of religious freedom are held to be present in two of the following three heads: “systematic, egregious and ongoing”, and placing a country under such a watch-list may open the door for sanctions against it by the US.

While US President Barack Obama rolls out the red carpet for Prime Minister Modi, the colonels in the ISI are looking towards other branches of government in the US to go into overdrive in the coming months against the NDA government on the issue of rights and freedoms. They are also mining their contacts to ensure that similar allegations against India get taken up in the European Parliament and at Geneva. In this task, they have the advantage of years of penetration of NGOs dealing with such matters in the US and European capitals, groups that have scarcely received attention in India, although they fund the stay and travel of hundreds of Indian nationals each year on missions to caricature this country as a state which systematically discriminates against minorities, women and the underprivileged.

“The ISI plan is to ensure that a torrent of negative hearings take place in Washington, Brussels and Geneva by mid-2015, so that the diplomatic outreach of the Modi government can be blunted”, the London-based source warned, adding that “thus far, Indian officialdom has concentrated on its peers rather than the broader civil society, where the ISI has been much more successful in gaining access and influence”, ironically, especially in those dealing with human rights.

Canadian News

Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory take part in a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting in Toronto on Wednesday July 25, 2018. Ten-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto were killed in Sunday's shooting attack, and 13 other people were injured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.

While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.

At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.

We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.

Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.

We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.

A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.

Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.

We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.

We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.

We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.

Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.

Our emergency services keep people safe.

Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.

Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.

Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.

We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.

With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”

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Canadian News

Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality

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Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.

Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.

Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.

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Canadian News

Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?

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The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.

He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture.  That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries.  Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.

Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.

Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response.  However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.

Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth.  Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.

In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide?  Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed?  However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.

The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?

Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.

Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.

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