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Dr. Gagan Bhalla receives Hind Rattan Award

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Toronto: The NRI Welfare Society of India awarded Dr. Gagan Bhalla, an Orthodontist from Mississauga, the prestigious Hind Rattan Award.  The Advisory board, which includes several prominent personalities, including the former Prime Minister H D Deva Gowda and several former cabinet ministers, selected the recipients, who were honoured at the 31st International Congress of NRI’s held from January 24 to 26 in New Delhi.

 

Those present at the congress included Justice Markanday Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, M.P. and Chairman, Legal & Human Rights Deptt., K.C. Pant, Former Defence Minister, Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development & Information Technology, Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh, Former Governer, Oscar Fernandes, Member of Parliament; Tarlochan Singh, Member of Parliament; Dr. G.V.G. Krishnamurthy, former Elections Commissioner, and Joginder Singh, Former Director C.B.I.

 

Dr. Gagan Bhalla graduated from the University of New York at Buffalo with his D.D.S., completed his orthodontic program from St. Louis University, and is certified by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons in Ontario. Over the past 15 years he has established a private practice in Mississauga, where he has been making a difference in the lives of many children and adults by giving them a healthy and confident smile. Active in continuing education, Dr. Bhalla is also an active member of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists and American Association of Orthodontists.

 

He has been actively involved with many fundraising activities including Child Haven International, which assists children and women in need in several countries. He is an active member and former Vice-President of the Mississauga Erin Mills Lions Club. He has served as a Board Member for the Credit Valley Hospital Foundation.

 

He is currently the Vice President and Board of Director for Patanjali YogPeeth (PYP) Canada. The noble vision of PYP Trust is to create a disease free world by adopting a scientific approach to the ancient Indian science of Yoga and Ayurveda. PYP Canada recognizes good health is human beings birthright. In accordance, Dr. Bhalla is dedicated to make Canada one of the healthiest nations in the world.

 

 

Dr. Bhalla conducts free Yoga-Pranayam classes, interactive workshops, seminars and is a speaker for communities, organizations, and schools to promote good health and self-well being. Under his leadership over 700 Yoga teachers have been trained and over 150 free yoga classes are being conducted per week in Canada. Through these classes thousands of people have been guided to attain healthier, happier and stress- free lives. He has been featured in newspapers, radio and television interviews to promote Yoga-Pranayam.

 

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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