Khalistan movement is a geopolitical project nurtured by Pakistan and threatens the national security of Canadians and Indians, a top Canadian think tank has concluded in its new report.
According to the Canadian think tank, Macdonal-Lurier Institute, Pakistan’s actions pose a real and present national security risk for Canadians. As the Khalistani cause has little traction in Punjab, Pakistan’s support of Khalistani extremists entails leveraging extremists based in Canada, including supporters with ties to terrorism.
Authored by veteran journalist Terry Milewski, the report published by Macdonald-Laurier Institute, ‘Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan' says that despite the treatment meted out to Sikh minorities and attacks on Gurudwaras in Pakistan, Khalistan sympathisers still boasts of 'solidarity' with the Islamic republic.
"It does not fit the Khalistani narrative, to say the least, that Pakistan’s treatment of its shrinking Sikh minority has brought angry demonstrations to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi. Rather, it makes it all the more bizarre that undying solidarity with Pakistan has become a kind of theme song for the American lawyer, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who leads Sikhs For Justice, the driving force in the campaign for a referendum on Sikh independence," the report said.
In the report, Milewski said that Pakistan is the driving force behind the Khalistan movement.
"It’s clear who’s really driving the Khalistan bus: Pakistan – the same Pakistan where countless Sikhs were murdered and expelled in the name of Islam," the report said.
"While separatist Sikhs complain loudly and properly about the massacre of several thousand Sikhs by Hindus in 1984, there are no rallies to demand justice for at least a quarter-million Sikhs massacred by Muslims in 1947," it added.
According to the report, former Pakistani PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had told reporters that Pakistan would tear off a piece of India – Khalistan – to avenge the loss of the 1971 war with India, in which East Pakistan was torn off and turned into independent Bangladesh.
But the Pakistani interest in Khalistan was not confined to revenge and it only grew more intense under his successor, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.
The report, however, added that the Khalistan movement has been going nowhere in the Sikhs' home state i.e. Punjab and has miniscule support there.
"Are Sikhs around the world clamouring for an independent state? Do they want Pakistan to get what it wants? The separatists have laboured long to ensure that we’ll soon find out. But they may not like the answer," the report concludes.
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