Will accept if Centre offers Khalistan: Akal Takht chief

All Sikhs want Khalistan and will accept it if offered by India, said acting Akal Takht jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh, 36 years after Operation Bluestar. The jathedar, responding to a question from media on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, also said “there is no harm if Sikh youth raise slogans in praise of Khalistan.” Akal Takht is the supreme temporal authority for Sikhs among the five takhts (temporal seats of Sikhs).

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Gobind Singh Longowal, endorsed Giani Harpreet Singh’s stance.” It is probably the first time that the heads of two supreme Sikh bodies have openly supported the cause of Khalistan. It is also significant that this happened on the anniversary of Operation Bluestar, a day marked by the community as Ghallughara (genocide) Day.

Asked whether he also was demanding Khalistan, the jathedar said, “If they (Indian government) give it to us, we will take it, which Sikh in the world doesn’t’ aspire (for Khalistan).” Longowal, when asked whether he endorsed this view, said: “If someone offers us Khalistan, we will take it.”

The Punjab Congress and Punjab BJP presidents expressed concern about these comments. Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar said that the head of temporal authority, should realise responsibility the position carries.

Ashwani Sharma, president of Punjab BJP, which is in alliance with Shiromani Akali Dal, said, “Not just Punjabis, but every Indian is religiously attached with Akal Takht, and persons sitting on respectable positions should have not commented on something which hurts the unity and integrity of the nation.”

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