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Ottawa-based think tank’s report on Khalistan extremism says Pakistan’s ‘geopolitical project’ is now a top terrorist threat to India and Canada

The research paper by Canadian think tank Macdonald-Laurier Institute covers the Khalistan movement and discovers its reality as a geopolitical project developed and nurtured by Pakistan.

Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a leading Canadian think tank based out of Ottawa, has released a study on Pakistan’s role in nourishing Khalistani extremism. Authored by Terry Milewski, [PDF] a veteran journalist, this research paper covers the Khalistan movement and discovers its reality as a geopolitical project developed and nurtured by Pakistan. The paper studies the threat of the Khalistan movement imposed on the national security of Canada and India.

Influence of Khalistani extremism in Canada

In the last few decades, especially after the horrifying incident of bombing Air India Flight 182 ‘Kanishka’ by Khalistani terrorists in 1985, the influence of Khalistanis in Canada has been increasing at its own pace. The impact of the extremists and Khalistani supporters in Canada led to the removal of reference to “Sikh (Khalistani) extremist ideologies and movements,” from the Public Report on the Terrorism Threats to Canada by the Ministry of Public Safety in 2018. The Canadian government took a rather drastic step and amended its national security statement and replaced the original language with “Extremists who support violent means to establish an independent state within India.”

Pro-Khalistani Sikh leaders, who enjoy wide-spread political patronage and clout in Canada, for their control over the Gurudwara cash flow and community votes, had reportedly pressurised the Trudeau government into removing the Khalistan reference from the annual report of terrorism threats.

The ML Institute study states that this result was achieved after an elaborate international lobbying campaign.

Role of Pakistan in promoting Khalistani extremism

The report investigates Pakistan’s role in developing and nourishing the Khalistani movement that supports the idea of a separate country for Sikhs named Khalistan. In the report, Milewski said that Pakistan’s continuous support for the movement shows that it is the defining force driving the ‘Khalistan’ bus.

Milewski writes that the Khalistan movement is getting not much traction in Punjab, the home state of Sikhs in India. However, with Pakistan’s support to Khalistani extremists in Canada in the backdrop of the “referendum” scheduled for November 2020 demanding an independent Khalistan, the Sikh communities worldwide are becoming sceptical. He warned in the report that the referendum will provide oxygen to the extremist ideology and will radicalize young Canadians. It will cause “havoc on reconciliation, and usurps legislatures,” he added.

Who is Terry Milewski

Terry Milewski is a veteran journalist. He had first visited India as a student back in 1967. At that time, he interviewed then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Milewski has visited India as a correspondent for CBC TV News several times during his career. He has covered several major events, including the Air India bombing in 1986. He retired as Senior Correspondent for CBC and occasionally guest host on channel’s Power and Politics.

Ujjal Dossanjh, former British Columbia Premier and former federal Liberal Cabinet Minister, and Shuvaloy Majumdar, MLI Program Director and Munk Senior Fellow for Foreign Policy have urged every one to read this report “to understand Pakistan’s influence in guiding the Khalistan proposition, its perversion of the Sikh faith, and its ongoing campaign of extremism and terrorism in two of the world’s important democracies.”

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