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    Another lame Sikh front organisation

    by Sunny on 9th May, 2006 at 3:43 am    

    The press release states:

    Thursday 11th May 2006
    Committee Room 4, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

    Parliamentarians For National Self-Determination

    Let no one oppress anyone else
    Let all abide in peace under a Benevolent Raj

    Guru Arjan, The Fifth Sovereign of the Sikhs

    Nationalist movements the world over have emerged as a result of diverse circumstances and history peculiar to each region. Nevertheless, they share many common goals and challenges in their respective endeavors to establish their rightful place among the World’s community of nations.

    Self-determination is the current internationally recognised means of pursuing those goals. Crucially, it is also a fundamental human right, as clearly prescribed by international law, and one upon which all other human rights depend. In a world scarred by so many violent conflicts and large scale human rights abuses, self-determination is perhaps the most important instrument of conflict resolution available to us today.

    Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination (PNSD) will provide a forum for aspiring nation states to advocate the management of their own internal affairs, development and nurturing of their national resources, and direct external engagement with international bodies to promote economic, environmental and cultural co-operation for mutual benefit.

    PNSD will seek to intervene on behalf of those peoples and individuals who are persecuted for advocating self-determination and defend their democratic rights, including that of free speech in pursuit of claims sanctioned by international law.

    The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), is a widely respected international body which provides a platform for nonstate nations to campaign for national self-determination and is a body with which PNSD will collaborate closely.

    Representatives from the Sikhs, Kashmiris, Nagas, Assamese, Manipuris, Kurds, Chechens, Palestinians, Kosovans and Tamils will be present at the conference and launch of parliamentarians for National Self-Determination on Thursday 11th of May.

    The participant from Indian held Punjab representing the political and peaceful Sikh movement for an independent state called Khalistan is:
    Jaspal Singh Dhillon
    Vice President, Dal Khalsa

    2 pm – 5 pm, Thursday 11th May 2006

    • Welcome and Public launch - Officers of ‘Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination’.
    • South Asia Independence Movements
    Lord Nazir Ahmed, Chair PNSD.

    • Welsh, Scottish and English National Groups
    Rt. Hon Elfyn Llwyd MP, Leader, Plaid Cymru.

    • Unrepresented Nations and Peoples
    Marino Busdachin, General Secretary, UNPO.

    • Self-Determination, Human Rights and International Law
    Kashmir Singh LLB LLM, Gen. Secretary, British Sikh Federation.


    The last name should give you a clue to what this farce is all about. Although I doubt this lame organisation will get anywhere, it is indicative of how many front organisations these ‘community leaders’ set up just to give the impression they have a big base. Sheesh.

    If anyone goes, please let me know how it went. I need a good laugh.

      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Events, Race politics

    31 Comments below   |  

    1. Jay Singh — on 9th May, 2006 at 4:02 am  

      Lord Nazir Ahmed has a track record of inviting dingbats, fruitcakes and looney tunes under his auspices at the House of Lords - a while back he hosted a frothing at the mouth ‘Jews control the world’ anti-semite from Scandanavia to speak called Jöran Jermas.

      The Dal Khalsa and other sectarian organisations seem to be trying to couch and moderate their position in the language of democracy and even ‘environmental co-operation’ - wow! But this is a fairly typical kind of Lord Nazir Ahmed kind of event - the measure of the man is in the company he keeps.

    2. David T — on 9th May, 2006 at 11:44 am  

      Well, they’re no fools.

    3. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 9th May, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

      I’d like to know why the ‘Free-Texas Movement’ is not being represented?
      Where are the Basques?

      Maybe they get goodie bags at the end with ‘redraw your countries’ borders’ maps or samples of Shame Textile.

      Imagine a world where everyone had their own little self-determined state! A United Nations with 6.3 billion members! AWESOME!

    4. xyz — on 9th May, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

      Lord Nazir forgot to invite someone to represent Baluchistan or maybe they will be represented by UNPO. And what is it about London, and its politicians, that it always seems to be hosting these types of conferences. Guilty conscience?

    5. Jay Singh — on 9th May, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

      ‘London’ is not hosting this conference, Lord Nazir Ahmed is. Can you distinguish between the two?

    6. xyz — on 9th May, 2006 at 6:53 pm  

      ‘London’ is not hosting this conference, Lord Nazir Ahmed is. Can you distinguish between the two?

      Is this conference being held in the Houses of Parliament? Are the Houses of Parliament in London and represent to a certain extent official London or the official British government? Does Lord Nazir, to a certain extent, represent the British government or the Houses of Parliament?

      If yes, should a government building be used to house conferences that are the pet personal projects of certain members? Do these conferences receive the widespread support of other politicians?

      I’m asking honestly. I can’t imagine the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha offices being used by one particular member to host conferences on self-determination for Scotland and Wales or for the Chagos Islanders deprived of their land for decades by the British or for Hispanic-Americans who want part of Mexico back from California. And yes, London has been a venue for these types of conferences that exclude representatives of the govts. against which these separatists are fighting. What exactly do they expect to achieve when they aren’t talking to those they have a problem with?

      But then again, US politicians also have a habit of using govt. buildings and resources to push their favorite foreign policy pet projects. I do think, however, that were the favor returned and if say politicians in Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Turkey and others held conferences on the internal problems of say the UK, US and invited only those groups, say IRA representatives only, to discuss their hopes for self-determination, it wouldn’t be looked upon kindly in the Houses of Parliament, London.

    7. raz — on 9th May, 2006 at 7:45 pm  

      Criminals such as Altaf Hussein and Benazir Bhutto are also given shelter by British government.

    8. Jay Singh — on 9th May, 2006 at 11:01 pm  


      Don’t raise your blood pressure or feel righteous over a gnat like Lord Ahmed.

      As it happens Sinn Fein are hosted by publicly elected representatives around the world - that’s democracy. I understand India likes to host Altaf Hussain and the PLO and other figures too. Just deal with it - or in this case, ignore it.

    9. xyz — on 9th May, 2006 at 11:35 pm  

      I’m not sure why you think my blood pressure is raised:) I merely pointed out that London does seem to host a lot of these types, that’s all. I’m not saying it should be banned or not really het up about it really. I was just making an observation. And I would be the first to point out that India has mostly never had an even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, and maybe in relation to Pakistan, some of it is quid pro quo.

      It’s not a matter of just inviting certain people - people are free to do that — but holding “conferences” and “investigations.” But, in general, I would say that the US, UK, Canada have tended to “interfere” more and hold more “conferences” on the internal politics of other countries and would never tolerate similar “conferences” in those countries about issues in their own countries.

      Imagine an Indian inquiry or conference into why the American government failed its poor black population so badly during Katrina? Or an Indo-Pakistani inquiry into the Bradford riots or a conference on self-determination for the people of Northern Ireland or the Chagos Islanders hosted by a Rajya Sabha member? The British ambassador to India would be on the phone in a flash registering his apoplexy. Or an Indian inquiry into the historical treatment of the native peoples of Canada?

      But maybe as India develops that is precisely what it will do. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing, just an interesting phenomenon.

    10. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:05 am  


      It is not Britain inviting or holding conferences - it is a member of a legislature acting not as a member of government but in a more or less private capacity. I don’t know why you can’t understand that. Sinn Fein / IRA were hosted by Irish American senators, India hosts Altaf Hussain and others. It happens all the time. You make a mountain out of a molehill and you get defensive with it at the same time - yet the Indian government already invites the MQM leaders and others to speak freely under its auspices. You have to have a thicker skin and not let irrelevant people like Nazir Ahmad to get under it.

    11. xyz — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:10 am  

      Jay, if one is going to ignore the likes of Ahmed altogether and he’s irrelevant, then why post and advertise his conference in the first place and why did you feel compelled to make comment 1? I assume the item was posted to invite comments? Why even give him that importance?

      As I explained, I was just making an observation. Sorry you didn’t like the reference to London, but that’s my observation (and it’s even more true of Washington D.C., lobbying capital of the world) and I still think what I said about the reverse not being looked at kindly is true. I think India does it less, for now, but my point is, public taxpayer money is ultimately funding these things, so unless they receive across-the-board governmental support, why hold them using govt. resources? Why not Ahmed or MQM supporters in India use their own money and hold tea parties for these people on their lawns at home? That would qualify as in their private capacity. Using your lord title, which gives you access to a political body, is hardly acting in a private capacity. Pet peeves of individual or one or two politicians should be self-funded. Causes that receive bipartisan or wider political support have a better basis for being hosted on government property and using the government’s largesse (both titles such as lord or mp and expense accounts).

      In the end it’s my opinion and I am entitled to it, just as you are entitled to yours and are not shy about posting your thoughts on myriad topics on PP. Just because it happens all the time doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion on it. I didn’t think of myself as being defensive or making a mountain out of a molehill - until I had to respond to you overreacting to my London comment, but then I suppose you’ve never been defensive about anything or never made a mountain out of a molehill? Thank you kindly for letting me have my say:)

    12. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

      I still don’t think you get it xyz - but anyway, as it happens the Indian government openly courts subversive Pakistani elements as policy leverage - so your impression that it happens less is erroneous - plus - hey - welcome to democracy xyz! Backbenchers are free to do as they please - and I am glad it is so, no matter who they piss off or invite. You seem to think that ‘London’ or the British government are in some kind of conspiracy (guilt complex you suggested I think) - that is a truly abject extrapolation. But then I think that reaction does chime well with your worldview in general.

    13. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

      Ok guys, you seem to be perennially mis-understanding each other. Let’s stop this discussion here. If anyone goes to this godforsaken event, then let us know.

    14. xyz — on 10th May, 2006 at 5:52 pm  

      Lord, Jay, chill (as they love to say in bad Bollywood movies). I seem to rile you up and you seem to have a Pavlovian impulse when it comes to me. I don’t think you got what I said either. I can’t believe in a tongue-in-cheek comment about London has led to this.

      By less, I mean the Indian govt. invites fewer or a less diverse bunch of “subversive” people. Naturally, with India, most of these people will be related to Pakistan/Afghanistan and vice versa. India still doesn’t have a global view when it comes to “interfering”. It’s not really interested in fostering the ambitions of the IRA (some US backbenchers and not-so-backbenchers used to do that ably and openly). “London” (happy with the quotes?) and the U.S. host a greater diversity of “subversive” elements and “conferences” and “investigations”. It’s the hubris/self-assigned responsibility that comes with being a greater political power (until it bites you back big-time, as recently).

      As I said, it’s not always a bad thing. But with the good lord ahmed, I don’t think it’s meant to be a wholly productive exercise. But as you said, hey that’s democracy. More power to seat-warming backbenchers with bees in their bonnets. My view that it is a bit of an abuse of democracy and the people’s funds and that even democracy should be a little more responsible (whether in the UK or India) seems to upset you for some reason.

      As I said, India may do more of this as its power grows - it’s in the nature of the political beast. If you read what I said, I clearly am not excusing it in India. Read T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” or “Empire” by Niall Ferguson. The British government, or any government, but especially the more powerful ones, always have the itch to have their fingers in as many pies as possible. As for the guilt complex thing, please learn to take a joke and recognize tongue-in-cheek. Ever heard of the British being associated with “divide and rule”? (now don’t burst a blood vessel, again that’s a joke, but based on truth. Read “Empire.”). But sometimes old habits die hard:) The good news is, everyone else sees how well that has worked in the past so now it’s a global phenomenon.

      You have your skewed worldview and I have mine. Sorry you think I am maligning Old Blighty, but kudos to you for defending it. I showed this conversation to one of my British friends (who, incidentally, studied British military history and politics), and he doesn’t really understand what you’re so worked up about with that reference to London. He’s not. He clearly can take a little ribbing.

    15. xyz — on 10th May, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

      P.S.: Peace Jay :) Let’s just agree to disagree.

    16. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

      I’m on a permanent chill Mr XYZ and I don’t get upset by blogs. Here’s a hint - someone responding to you is not equivalent to being upset by them. So when your blood pressure rises and you get ready to write another of your tortured thousand word responses consider that you might be being ribbed yourself. (Another hint - brevity is a virtue!)

      Do keep trying with the sense of humour thing though you’ll say something funny eventually.

      Enjoy the sunshine! ;-)

    17. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

      Peace XYZ :-)

    18. Jai — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:16 pm  

      Can we please have some ‘global civility’ on this blog, dammit ?


      PS, XYZ:

      =>”Lord, Jay, chill (as they love to say in bad Bollywood movies).”

      Ahem, I think you’ll find that’s actually “Chill DUDE”, usually spoken by Salman Khan in a bad American accent.

      Jay Singh — At least your little disagreement with XYZ didn’t go as out of control as my “debate” with our friend from the MAC, which escalated into truly Khalsa vs Mughal Empire proportions…..

    19. xyz — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:23 pm  

      Funny”:) I know you have a penchant for advising me and others on when and how we should comment. I’m sure if we examined PP’s archives we could find examples of your attempts at lengthy prose. You seem to fancy yourself a bit of a blog bobby or dear abby. You seem to be a little intolerant of other people’s methods of communications. Perhaps if you lenghthened your posts you would be able to clarify just what it is you get so worked up about and why your blood pressure rises when I write a simple two-sentence comment. If you’d not started salivating over that, you wouldn’t have had to read any more about it.

      Here’s a hint: someone responding to you doesn’t mean they are worked up or that their blood pressure is rising. Maybe they just think you’re being a bit obtuse and that you require a few more words or yet another restatement of what was said for you to get it.

      Here’s brevity for you: Go slack a complex:)

    20. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

      Sheesh. I don’t really want to close comments on this thread but I may have to. You both keep telling each other to relax and to stop taking things seriously continually. It’s insane.

    21. Jai — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

      Guys, just relax. This is an unnecessary misunderstanding and certainly nothing on the scale of my argument with the MAC gentleman, so let’s try to ensure this thread doesn’t head in the same direction.

      At least you guys were both able to amicably agree to disagree as per posts #15 & 17, so for the sake of keeping everything friendly perhaps we should just leave it at that.

    22. xyz — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

      Don’t worry Sunny, this is my absolute last comment on this thread. I’m now reading all the extremely long posts by a myriad of posters (and head honchos) on this blog. I can see I’m not the only guilty one.:) As far as I can see, posts are long if you don’t agree with them and not-so-long if you do. Very relaxing. :)

    23. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 7:19 pm  

      What does ‘go slack a complex’ mean?

      Be brief.

    24. Aurangzeb — on 21st May, 2006 at 9:53 pm  

      It was a very interesting event. Quite long with lots of speakers. Many of them from liberation movements that want independence from India but also talks on Kurdistan, Kosovo and Welsh and Scottish parties.

      The Sikh speakers from Khalistan were very good. So were the Kashmiri speakers.

    25. Jay Singh — on 21st May, 2006 at 10:00 pm  

      A man called ‘Aurengzeb’ bigging up Sikh speakers! Ironies never cease.

      What a load of bollocks.

    26. Aurangzeb — on 21st May, 2006 at 10:14 pm  

      Dont know what you’re talking about. But yeah, the Sikh speakers from Khalistan were pretty good. One of them went so far to say that Khalistan was an occupied country. There were 5 Sikhs who spoke. Three of them from Khalistan, 2 from UK.

      The Kashmiri speakers were excellent and very articulate. It is a good move that Khalistan, Kashmir and other Indian occupied countries have decided to work together on common issues like human rights violations by the Indian state and their liberation movements.

      There were other speakers, oriental looking, who had also come from parts of South East Asia that have been occupied by the Indians since the 1950’s. They also wanted to begin working closely with Khalistan and Kashmir as they are faced with the same oppressor.

      I hope there is a steady amount of activity from this PNSD group as there are many intra-state conflicts that need to be resolved by recognizing the peoples right to self-determination (for multi-national states like India, Pakistan, Serbia etc)

    27. Jay Singh — on 21st May, 2006 at 10:21 pm  

      Aurengzeb is the name of the Mughal Emperor who murdered and had his vassals murder Sikhs en masse and the ninth Guru and the sons of the tenth Guru.

      Aurengzeb, here is the news. Khalistanis are right wing theocrats. Nobody is interested in being ruled by theocratic nutjobs except ideologues scraping by in the secular and free and democratic West. They find succour with anti-semitic lunatics like Lord Nazir because he is so twisted with hatred for India that he promotes any two bit ideologue with a chip on their shoulder.

      In the meantime, I look forward to Lord Nazir hosting the leaders of the Balochistan ‘liberation’ movement, the Sindh ‘liberation’ movement, the Pakhtoonistan ‘liberation’ movement and the leader of the MQM ‘freedom struggle’.

    28. Aurangzeb — on 21st May, 2006 at 10:40 pm  

      I agree with you that Baloch and Pashtuns definitely should also be included in PNSD since Baloch and Pashtuns actually have nothing in common with South Asians and South Asia is an unnatural region for Baloch and Pashtuns. Baloch and Pashtuns are racially, linguistically, culturally and historically distinct from the subcontinent.

      Actually, Balochistan is not even part of the subcontinent it is part of the Iranian plateau so even geographically it is nothing to do with India/Pakistan.

      Balochistan was annexed to Pakistan by force during the 1950’s and should not and should never have been part of Pakistan which was a country basically made for Indian Muslims. Something Baloch do not want to be apart of and do not need to be apart of since Baloch are not Indian.

      Pashtuns might not have as much drive for independence because they seem satisfied to milk the Pakistanis for all their worth but thats their cause. Baloch cause is different and is not a joke.

      Sindhis are basically Indians. I mean, every Sindhi i’ve ever seen i could not distinguish from an Indian. Same is true for Panjabis who are also Indians, but just Muslims (mostly). Pakistan should probably just consist of Panjab and Sindh.

      Probably because nations like Kashmir and Khalistan are included in PNSD it will be hard for Baloch or Tibetans to join because of politics etc but in principle it looked to me like PNSD is neutral and supports the process of self-determination, instead of lobbying for any particular outcome. UNPO general secretary was also present so that just goes to show that PNSD has strong backing and is a credible platform for nation states.

      Anyway, thanks for supporting the Baloch.

    29. Jay Singh — on 21st May, 2006 at 10:52 pm  

      but in principle it looked to me like PNSD is neutral and supports the process of self-determination

      Yeah right - Lord Nazir sponsored organisations are neutral! Give me a break.

      Oh yeah, by the way, I don’t support the Baloch, I was being ironic.

      But good luck telling Lord Nazir about your call to encourage separatists and the break up of Pakistan the next time you attand one of his meetings! I am sure he will be overjoyed to hear it.

      All human rights abuses in India can be campaigned on through the myriad of organisations dedicated to monitoring human rights there and grassroots activists concerned. You don’t have to support pipe dreams of right wing theocrats and other nationalists to do so.

    30. Aurangzeb — on 21st May, 2006 at 11:04 pm  

      One of the Sikh speakers from Khalistan was not a nationalist, but a lawyer. I dont remember his name but he is apart of a human rights organization, works also as a full time lawyer but is still a supporter of self-determination for the Sikhs. He was not a fanatic unless you think having a long beard and a turban makes someone “right wing”. (That is their religion afterall isnt it, to wear that?).

      I had come across a few reports on the killing of Sikh human rights activists by Indian police on HRW and Amnesty so i doubt what you say about campaigning for human rights in India amounts to anything.

      Lord Ahmed is actually from Kashmir and does not support Kashmirs merger with Pakistan. He supports Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination, ie, the decision on Kashmir’s future will be theirs.

      Dont know what you mean by being ironic about the Baloch. Baloch are not Pakistani or Indian and are a separate entity from the subcontinent. No body should have a problem with supporting the Baloch cause if they are aware of the history and conflict.

    31. Jay Singh — on 21st May, 2006 at 11:12 pm  

      He was not a fanatic unless you think having a long beard and a turban makes someone “right wing”. (That is their religion afterall isnt it, to wear that?)

      What a fatuous thing to say! I am Sikh myself Mr Aurengzeb.

      Now, whether or not campaigning for human rights in india amounts to anything is entirely the wrong way to look at the issue. Campaigning against abuses of state power and human rights is always going to be an uphill struggle. The question is, do you abandon it and subscribe to separatist theocratic causes and religious nationalism? I don’t think so.

      By the way, nobody comes from Khalistan - it is the state of Punjab in India.

      Now, please do explain to Lord Nazir that you are going to campaign for the splitting up of Pakistan as well as India and urge him to invite MQM and Balochi nationalists to campaign under his auspices against human rights abuses and see how far he gives you the time of day.

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