In what can be termed as a worrisome development, Shashi Kant, former Director-General of Police (DGP) Punjab has alleged that Pakistan-based pro-Khalistani Sikhs are cementing a strong foothold in the United Kingdom. Kant, in conversation with news agency ANI, asserted that Khalistanis are especially making Birmingham city their new base.
“Now they are trying to get a strong foothold in Birmingham where they have been organising rallies,” Kant asserted.
He added India has been voicing its concerns with the British government about Khalistanis activists’ organising rallies on British soil. In response, the British government has, however, expressed its inability to take action so long as the protests are peaceful and non-violent.
Kant’s statement comes at a time when India is witnessing a rise in anti-India activities by Khalistani Sikhs across different cities in the United Kingdom.
Though the British government is in denial mode, on March 9, 2019, several British Indians were attacked right outside the Indian High Commission in London. The attackers wearing Sikh turbans had raised slogans such as ‘Naraa-e-Taqbeer’ and ‘Allah-u-Akbar.’
#WATCH Pakistan’s ISI backed Khalistanis attacked a number of British Indians who were standing outside the Indian High Commission in London on March 9. The men wearing Sikh turbans raised slogans ‘Naraa-e-Taqbeer’ & ‘Allah-u-Akbar’ pic.twitter.com/7L5Fume7nv
— ANI (@ANI) March 10, 2019
Kant pointed out the role of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI in instigating the Sikhs based out of Europe and America against India after failing to penetrate their agenda in Punjab. He alleged the spy agency was exploiting the unsuspecting Sikhs to push its agenda and achieve its nefarious designs against India.
The Indian government has made its stand clear about following a zero-tolerance policy on terrorism. As a result, Khalistani terrorist Gopal Singh Chawla was ousted from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC). By Chawla’s own admission, ahead of the crucial talks on Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan, Pakistan succumbed to pressure from India by dropping his name from the committee.
Recently, Taran Kaur Dhillon known by her stage name Hard Kaur had stirred controversy by openly supporting the Khalistani movement. Kaur was seen on social media, wearing a t-shirt that had Referendum 2020 written on it. The caption read, ‘21 Gun Salute to The Hero Sant Shaheed Bhindranwale.” Referendum 2020, is a Khalistani movement demanding a separate country be carved out of India for Sikhs.
Khalistan movement has the backing of ISI, which is not only fueling the movement but also offering monetary support to keep it afloat. The spy agency has actively been targeting the holy places of the Sikh community in a bid to emotionally blackmail the pilgrims and exploit their religious sentiments to keep the movement alive.
In a blow to Pakistan, central government banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), pro-Khalistan outfit for its separatist agenda. An ISI backed organisation, SFJ was pushing the Sikh referendum in 2020. The government banned this organisation under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).