Khalistan is a geopolitical project nurtured by Pakistan, concludes a top Canadian think tank in its report which has adverse implications for the national security of both Canada and India. Coming weeks before the so-called Referendum 2020 by the Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice, the report highlights how the Khalistan movement owes its energy to Pakistan.
The report by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, ‘Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan’ authored by Canadian journalist Terry Milewski says: “It does not fit the Khalistani narrative that Pakistan’s treatment of its shrinking Sikh minority has brought 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.”
Pannun, the report observes, has sided with China in its dispute with India and recently wrote to Pakistan PM Imran Khan, swearing that “if India ever attacked Pakistan, the pro-Khalistan Sikhs will extend full support to Pakistan”. The report marks, as a turning point, a 2018 event when Canada’s national security report had to omit a reference to Sikh Khalistanis. The 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada replaced “Sikh (Khalistani) extremist ideologies and movements” with the more generic “Extremists who support violent means to establish an independent state within India.”