The Referendum 2020 for an independent Khalistan (proposed to be carved out from the Indian state of Punjab) has not gained any mass support even though Pakistan has tried its best to garner support and finances for the movement via extremist groups like Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Commando Force and others.
Ashok Sajjanhar, former Indian ambassador to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia asserts that Pakistan’s notorious spy agency, the ISI, is consistently working behind the scenes to undermine India.
“There are enemies of India, like Pakistan, who want to wake up the issue of Khalistan. They have been trying to provoke the Sikhs of India and incite them but have not been successful in any way,” said Sajjanhar.
“The whole idea of “Referendum 2020″, where the Sikhs would get together to demand a separate state, I don’t think it has any mass support to it. There are critical forces to India which are trying to provoke this movement, but I don’t think it will go forward in any significant manner,” he added as per ANI
As India is trying to maintain regional stability by agreeing on the Kartarpur Corridor, Pakistan is aggressively attempting to provoke the pro-Khalistan issue by encouraging separatists organizations like Sikhs for Justice.
Sajjarhar said that many of the historical Sikh shrines are located within Pakistan and the Sikhs have more right on those sites. “Hundreds of Sikh religious places are located in Pakistan. So, how will all these things be included in the idea of Khalistan?” He said.
“Both territorially and also politically, even if you look at Punjab, the population of Sikhs is not in the majority. There are Hindus, there are Muslims and others. So, in any sense of the world this idea is not viable,” he added.
Punjab experienced enormous losses in the decade-long militancy in the 1980s. The Khalistan movement ultimately disappeared by the mid-1990, paving way for peace and prosperity in the fertile Punjab region.
With Inputs From ANI