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Indo-Pakistan Peace Restaurant ‘Sarhad’ to showcase food in Paris at an International food event ‘Grand Fooding S. Pellegrino Plats’ in September

Aman, who studied Economics in Norway before venturing into the food business, hopes that one day India and Pakistan could foster better ties through the gourmet route

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Attari, Punjab, August 29, 2016: A popular restaurant, which sells Indian and Pakistani cuisine and the idea of peace between the not-so-friendly neighbours right at the international border between both countries, will showcase its food at an international food event in Paris next month, in September.

‘Sarhad’ (which means border) restaurant, located just one kilometer from the Attari-Wagah joint check post of India and Pakistan, has been invited to participate in the ‘Grand Fooding S. Pellegrino Plats’ in Paris, being organised by Le Fooding on September 24.

“Sarhad, which promotes peace through food with its Amritsari-Lahori cuisine and culture, has been invited to participate in the world’s biggest food event at Paris being organised by Le Fooding on September 24 this year,” restaurant owner Aman Jaspal told IANS here.

Aman and his wife Sameena will be serving the delicious Chicken Biryani, a popular rice and chicken dish in both countries, at the food festival. Aman will soon travel to Lahore to get fresh spices and ingredients from there.

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“Sarhad is one of the 10 restaurants invited from across the world with a similar mission to use food as a medium for peace and reconciliation. Top international chefs and restaurateurs will present essential dishes from different countries, religions and cultures in conflict with each other who come together through their shared gastronomy,” Aman pointed out.

LeFooding Restaurant. Image source: Facebook
LeFooding Logo. Image source: Facebook

International chefs who will be presenting a special dish for the Paris event are Niki Kopcke and Roberta Siao from London, Kamal Mouzawk from Lebanon, Celine Pham from Paris, Jessamyn Rodriguez and Les Boulangeres from New York, Regina Tchelly from Brazil, Pierre Gagnaire from France and Xavier Zapata from Marseille-France.

Sameena, who is from New Zealand and whose parents run a chain of restaurants there, is all excited about the Paris event.

“It’s a great feeling to know that like Sarhad there are like-minded organisations in the world who consider food as peace facilitator,” Sameena told IANS.

The theme of the food event this year has been kept to celebrate reconciliation, life and peace around and through food. This has been done in view of the tragic terror strikes in Paris, Brussels and other places across the world.

“Food has always been central to bringing people together, so the event will serve to highlight local and international initiatives, paying tribute to chefs, restaurateurs, NGOs that act to promote peace among men and women at different levels social, cultural and religious,” Coralie Kwok, chief coordinator of the event, stated in an Email to the Jaspal couple.

The unique border restaurant ‘Sarhad’ showcases the architectural, cultural and culinary heritage of pre-partition Punjab in general and Amritsar and Lahore cities in particular.

The Lahori menu at the restaurant, which is a big draw with visitors to the Retreat ceremony and among local residents, includes Chapli Kebab, Nihari Ghost, Bannu Kebab, Fish Korma, Miyanji ki Dal and Bakarkhani Roti.

“To add a little fizz to the current tepid phase in Indo-Pakistan relations, Sarhad has introduced non-alcoholic beer manufactured by Pakistan’s iconic liquor brand, the 160-year-old Rawalpindi-based Murree Brewery.

“Also available only at Sarhad is all-time Lahori favorite dessert, Khalifa Nan Khatai. Seven boxes of this desert were presented by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter’s swearing in ceremony in 2014,” Aman pointed out.

Lahore’s leading designer Ansa Zafar has created furniture for Sarhad while Salah-auddin Michu has created ceramic jaali panels with exquisite motifs of the Lahore fort and Indus valley civilization.

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Pakistan’s most celebrated truck artist, Haider Ali, has painted two Tata mini trucks in Pakistani truck art.

These colourful trucks, with the slogan “India-Pakistan Friendship Zindabad” boldly emblazoned on the bonnet, are parked at Sarhad and are a big attraction for tourists.

Aman, who studied Economics in Norway before venturing into the food business, hopes that one day India and Pakistan could foster better ties through the gourmet route.

“If Paris can try to discover peace and reconciliation through food, there is no reason why India and Pakistan, which share a great common culinary heritage, should not give a chance to food diplomacy. Sarhad would be more than willing to host such an effort,” Aman (which means peace) said.

The brick-lined ‘Sarhad’ restaurant complex was launched on August 15 (India’s Independence Day) in 2012. It is located about 30 km from the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. Famous Pakistani architect and designer Nayar Ali Dada was roped in to incorporate features of old Lahore and old Amritsar in the design for the Sarhad complex. (IANS)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)