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Imran party supporters call for Sharif’s death in London

One protester can be heard shouting in the video “some one shoot him” in reference to Nawaz Sharif.

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London/Islamabad, Dec 9 : A group of supporters of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party held a protest outside the London residence of ailing former PM Nawaz Sharif and called for his death by shooting.

According to a report in The News, a group of PTI supporters held a protest outside Avenfield flats in London on Sunday. Sharif, who is in the UK for treatment, is living in the third floor of the Avenfield flats.

One protester called loudly for Sharif’s death by shooting while another called for Taliban-style bombing of the Avengield apartment.

A group of protesters attempted to break down the main gate.

Around 40 protestors, led by Tariq Mehmood, who runs a group called ‘Pakistan Patriotic Front’, raised slogans in support of PTI and many were wearing PTI caps.

However, PTI’s elected body issued a statement distancing itself from the protest.

One protester can be heard shouting in the video “some one shoot him” in reference to Nawaz Sharif.

Another protestor was carrying a poster that read “We cannot wait for the law”, “Avenfield belongs to us to keep”, “Imran Khan is our pride” and “Long live PTI”.

Another protestor called for Taliban-style bombing of the Avenfield apartments and said that casualties in such bombings are normal. One speaker used threatening language for Asif Saeed Khosa, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the daily reported.

Video footage shows at least three protesters banging the front gate in order to break it down, while two protesters entered inside the gate from a side entrance and were asked by the police to leave.

Ahead of the violent protest on Sunday, Tariq Mehmood (also known as Chaduhry Tariq) issued a call asking for the occupation of Avenfield House through violence.

He said in a viral audio message: “It’s our duty to occupy property of these people. This is our right. This property belongs to the people of Pakistan. We are monitoring the whole situation and if needed, we will move in.

“We will move into the Avenfield house in the same way that property of Libyan leader Qaddafi was occupied and the British government took no action against them because the it thought these properties were made with the looted money. For us to occupy these properties, it’s our right because this money belongs to Pakistan.”

Ahead of Nawaz Sharif’s arrival, elected senior official of PTI in UK Soraya Aziz had issued a similar call for violence on Twitter. Soraya Aziz, who is Head of Computing at the Beths Grammar School in Bexley, Kent, said: “For his own safety, I strongly recommend Nawaz Sharif not leave his Avenfield Apartments. If he’s seen shopping in Knightsbridge, overseas Pakistanis will give him response even his few remaining platelets won’t know where to hide!!”

Taqveem Ahsan Siddiqui, in a statement issued earlier on Sunday said: “The PTI has not called for any demonstration outside disqualified Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s residence”.

Siddiqui said: “It has been brought to our attention that an invite to demonstrate outside his residence is in circulation. The PTI UK does not have any intention to call or join any demonstration outside Nawaz Sharif’s residence until he abides by his bail condition.”

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Indian-American Amrit Singh becomes first turban-wearing Deputy Constable in Harris County in US state of Texas

In 2015, Harris County made national headlines after sheriff’s deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal fought for and won the rights to wear his turban and beard on duty.

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Houston, Jan 22 : Amrit Singh, an Indian-American law enforcement officer, has scripted history by becoming the first-ever turban-wearing Sikh to be sworn in as Deputy Constable in Harris County in the US state of Texas.

Singh, 21, will be the first in his profession to wear his articles of faith – a turban, beard, and uncut hair in the line of duty.

It was a historic day on Tuesday as Singh’s swearing-in coincided with the adoption of a new policy that allows law enforcement officers in nearly every single Harris County Constable’s Office to wear articles of their faith while in uniform. For Sikhs, that means being able to wear a turban and beard while on duty.

Singh always wanted to work as a peace officer. He spent years in law enforcement explorer programmes and five months in a police training academy.

“Growing up, I always wanted to be a deputy and my Sikh faith was also very important to me,” Singh said.

“Constable Alan Rosen was the first one to give me a callback. He opened this agency with open arms for me,” he said.

Speaking at Singh’s swearing-in ceremony, Precinct 1 Constable Rosen said the county’s eight constables supported accommodations for Sikhs to serve while adhering to their religion.

“As a man of the Jewish faith, I know how it feels to be religiously targeted and how important it is to teach inclusion, understanding and tolerance,” Rosen said, standing in front of representatives from the county’s other constable offices.

“To me, wearing a yarmulke or him wearing a turban really doesn’t impact the quality of work he’s going to do. It should have zero impact on public safety or what job we do. Are you going to care if the person showing up to your door to help save you has a turban or yarmulke? You’re not. You’re just happy they’re there to save you and keep you safe,” the officer said.

Singh will now go on to months of field training, after which he will be assigned to patrol within Precinct One.

In 2015, Harris County made national headlines after sheriff’s deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal fought for and won the rights to wear his turban and beard on duty.

At the time of the deputy’s murder last year, just a few dozen law enforcement agencies across the United States — and the US Army — had uniform policies with religious accommodations allowing Sikhs to serve in accordance with their faith.

“Legacy of Dhaliwal is not far removed, it clearly recognised and acknowledge his service and this is a gift that continues to give in his recognition and legacy,” said Bobby Singh, a Sikh community leader.

In 2009, Dhaliwal was the first Sikh to join the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and in 2015, he became the first Sikh law enforcement officer to be allowed to wear his articles of faith in uniform. He was shot and killed during a traffic stop last year.

“We honour his legacy by honouring his faith here today,” Rosen said.

In the months since Dhaliwal’s death, law enforcement agencies in California, Washington and in Texas have signalled willingness to change their policies, said Manpreet Singh of the Sikh Coalition, which advocates for religious accommodations for minority communities in public and private sectors.

“It makes me proud to be a Houstonian, and a Texan. I hope the rest of the nation follows Texas,” she said.

“I could just hope that I could be half as decent a cop as he ever was, and everything I do, I want people to know that I’m doing it following in his footsteps,” Deputy Singh said.

“He made our community proud,” said Suhel Singh, Deputy Singh’s father.

Singh’s parents were recognised at the ceremony. They told FOX 26 that they were proud to see their son pursue his passion even though it is a dangerous job.

“The way I look at it, maybe it will make me pray harder and be more praying for his protection from God,” said Singh’s mother Sukie Kaur.

Singh is now one of just two law enforcement officers in the county wearing a turban.

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China, US should boost strategic communication: Ambassador

Signing the deal “serves the interests of China, the United States, and the world as a whole,” the ambassador stressed.

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Chinese Cui Tiankai

Washington, Jan 22 : China and the United States should strengthen strategic communication and look at each other rationally, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, said.

Speaking at a Spring Festival reception hosted by the Chinese embassy, Tiankai said on Tuesday that China-US relations have achieved historic development since the establishment of their diplomatic ties, which has not only brought about great benefits to the two peoples but also helped promote world stability and prosperity.

The Chinese ambassador also dismissed claims of “decoupling” or “New Cold War” between China and the United States, saying that they are against the trend of history and unpopular.

“There is no difficulty that cannot be overcome as long as the two sides respect each other’s dignity, sovereignty, and core interests,” he said.

Talking about the phase-one economic and trade agreement that China and the United States have recently inked, Tiankai said the deal, which was aimed at addressing concerns of both sides, showed a spirit of mutual respect and came to fruition through consultation on an equal footing.

Signing the deal “serves the interests of China, the United States, and the world as a whole,” the ambassador stressed.

China and the United States, he suggested, should take it as an opportunity to earnestly implement the strategic consensus reached by their leaders, reduce misunderstandings and miscalculations and properly manage their differences so as to build a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability.

The reception was attended by some 700 guests, according to the Washington DC-based Chinese embassy.

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Chinese ambassador highlights ties with NZ as ‘front-runner’

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Xi Jinping

Wellington, Jan 22 Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wu Xi has highlighted the bilateral relationship between the two countries as a “front runner” during her remarks delivered at the Chinese Lunar New Year reception held in Wellington.

Xi said the relationship between China and New Zealand was successful in the past year. Leaders of the two countries reaffirmed their commitments to the comprehensive strategic partnership. The two countries concluded negotiations to upgrade the free trade agreement, explored opportunities for cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative. The two-way trade exceeded 30 billion New Zealand dollars (19.78 billion US dollars), Xinhua news agency reported.

New Zealand companies secured big contracts at the 2nd China International Import Expo and the success of the “2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism” expanded bilateral tourism cooperations as well as people-to-people exchanges.

Xi noted that the year of Golden rat, according to Chinese lunar calendar, represents the pioneering spirit, intelligence and vigour as the rat is the first of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The two countries jointly created many historic “Firsts” in the bilateral relationship.

“Looking back, none of these firsts involved easy decisions. Yet, we’ve achieved them through wisdom, vision, courage and the pioneering spirit, to the benefit of both countries and peoples. I am confident of working together and we will maintain our ties as a ‘front-runner’ in relations between China and developed countries,” Xi added.

A couple of days ago, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern praised the New Zealand-China relations as important, maturing and far-reaching when she attended 2020 Chinese New Year Festival and Market Day in Auckland, one of the most renowned Chinese New Year activities held by local Chinese community.

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