[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Palestinian Authority President visits New Delhi ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landmark visit to Israel in the next few months.
By Abu Turab
India will host Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, from May14 to 17 as part of a strategic balancing act. Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be working to elevate India’s ties with the Palestinian Authority by setting up a “security mechanism” and signing several agreements with the visiting dignitary. Modi is scheduled to visit Israel sometime in June-July this year.
In a marked departure from tradition, Modi will visit only Israel and not Palestine. President Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian head of state to visit Palestine before visiting Israel in October 2015. His visit was marred by Israeli authorities denying clearance to four communications systems meant as a gift from India to the Palestinian University’s Information Department. Israel had also turned down India’s proposal that President Mukherjee visit the al-Aqsa mosque, the third sacred Islamic site which is in east Jerusalem.
The Modi government has been elevating ties with Palestine as well. His government conducted “first ever India-Palestine joint commission” which was co-chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar in November last year.
Discussing about the diplomatic moves, experts believe that Delhi is not yet a mediator in many of the conflicts in West Asia but hopes to expand its footprints across the region. India has also participated in a conference on Israel and Palestine held in Paris this year.
Palestinian Authority officials have been expecting that India would not strengthen its ties with Israel at the cost of its historic ties with Palestinian cause.
Dr Majid Khalidi, a senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, while talking to the Press Trust of India in Ramallah on May 9, has said that India has right to build relations with Israel but it should not come at the “expense” of India’s firm support for the Palestinian cause. Referring to India’s “historic and steady” ties, he said that Palestinians want to strengthen their ties with India and seek support for their “struggle”. “We should have our state within the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.
Khalidi disclosed that several Memorandums of Understanding will be signed between India and Palestine during Abbas’visit from May 14 to 17 with special emphasis on cooperation in health, agriculture, sports and youth affairs.
India has a long standing principle of a two-state solution to end the protracted Israeli-Palestine crisis. Arab leaders during a recent meeting in Amman have also called for “creation of a Palestinian state under a two-state solution that would be basis of a comprehensive Arab -Israeli peace deal”.
Khalidi expressed his confidence on “historic” relations with India and said, “We have excellent relations with all parties, no matter who governs India.”
President Abbas will visit India following his recent visits to Egypt, Jordan and the US. He will fly in straight from Moscow after consultations with President Vladimir Putin. Abbas is visiting India for the fifth time in the last 12 years while it would be his third state visit to the country.
Besides his official engagements, President Abbas is also scheduled to address a distinguished gathering of the Muslim elite at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi on May 15.
India was one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine in 1988. In 1996, India opened its Representative office to the Palestine Authority in Gaza, which was later shifted to Ramallah in 2003.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
India-Canada row: No special exemption to India, says US NSA Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
The United States on Thursday affirmed that it is in constant communication with India and Canada amid increasing diplomatic tensions between both the countries. The diplomatic standoff broke out after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that his country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Speaking on the matter, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the US will be in contact with India at the highest level. He added that it is a matter of concern for them and they are taking it seriously. He asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
He underlined that there is not some special exemption for actions like this. He added that regardless of the country, they will stand up and defend their basic principles. In addition, he affirmed that the US will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process.
Jake Sullivan further dismissed reports that the US’s desire to strengthen ties with India would constrain its ability to voice concerns about the allegations. He asserted that the Joe Biden administration took Canada’s allegations seriously and it was in constant contact with Ottawa.
He also noted that the US have deep concerns about the allegations and that they would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account. Meanwhile, New Delhi outrightly rejected Canada’s allegation as absurd and motivated. In a tit for tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case, New Delhi expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.
On Thursday, India asked Canada to take action against terrorists and anti-India elements operating from its soil. Furthermore, India also suspended visa services for Canadians, as the diplomatic standoff over Nijjar’s killing pushed their ties to an all-time low.
Canadian High Commission asks Centre to ensure safety, security of its diplomats, staff in India
The High Commission affirmed that all consulates in India are open and operational and will continue to serve clients.
Amidst rising tensions between India and Canada, the Canadian High Commission on Thursday asserted that some of its diplomats have received threats on social media. It urged India to provide security for Canadian diplomats and consular officers in the country. The High Commission further revealed that it has decided to temporarily adjust its staff presence in the country.
The High Commission also affirmed that all consulates in India are open and operational and will continue to serve clients. It added that in the view of the current environment where tensions have heightened, they are taking action to ascertain the safety of their diplomats. It further underlined that Global Affairs Canada is continuously supervising the safety and security of their missions and personnel as they maintain a strict security protocol to respond to any events.
On the other hand, the Vancouver Police Department has tightened security outside India’s Consulate amid planned threats from proscribed group Sikhs for Justice after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that Indian government agents were responsible for the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Const. Tania Visintin, the department’s media relations officer, noted that Vancouver police are not aware of any specific threats to Indian consular officials, but have increased police presence at the downtown Vancouver consulate.
In a shocking claim on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Nijjar. Following this, both India and Canada have been engaged in a diplomatic standoff. Earlier on Thursday, India suspended visa services for Canadian nationals until further notice owing to operation reasons.
In a meeting that was held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly conveyed strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada, promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship.
Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi claims responsibility for Sukhdool Singh’s killing in Canada
Terming Sukhdool Singh, a drug addict, Bishnoi’s gang claimed that he destroyed the lives of many people and that he was untimely punished for his sins.
Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi has reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing of terrorist Sukhdool Singh in Canada’s Winnipeg city. According to reports, in a Facebook post, Lawrence Bishnoi’s gang stated that Sukhdool Singh, aka Sukha Dunuke, had played a pivotal role in the killings of gangsters Gurlal Brar and Vicky Middkhera. They further alleged that the murders were plotted by Sukhdool Singh when he was staying abroad.
Terming Sukhdool Singh, a drug addict, Bishnoi’s gang claimed that he destroyed the lives of many people and that he was untimely punished for his sins. Lawrence Bishno’s gang also alleged that Sukhdool Singh, a member of Davinder Bambiha, also got Sandeep Nangal Ambiya, another gangster, killed. They added that it gave a stern warning to their enemies, stating they would not be able to live in peace, even if they hide in India or any other country.
The Killing of Sukhdool Singh came amid growing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada over the killing of another Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British California. Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a gurdwara in June.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Bishnoi is currently behind bars in Ahmedabad in a drugs smuggling case probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). In addition, he is also an accused in the Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala murder case.
Sukhdool Singh is reportedly an A-category gangster, who hailed from Punjab’s Moga and earlier escaped from his state to Canada. He was an aide of Khalistani terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala. As far as reports are concerned, in 2017, Sukhdool Singh alias Sukha Dunuke obtained a passport and a police clearance certificate on forged documents to flee to Canada despite having seven criminal cases lodged against him.
Reports suggested that Sukhdool Singh, an aide of Khalistani terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala, was killed in an inter-gang rivalry.