OTTAWA: One of Canada’s leading think tanks, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute of Ottawa has released a report ‘Khalistan—A project of Pakistan’ saying that Pakistan is “really driving the Khalistan bus” at a time when the “Khalistan movement has been going nowhere in the Sikhs’ home state” of Punjab.
The report by veteran journalist Terry Milewski says Islamabad’s support for pro-Khalistan groups involves leveraging people based in Canada, including supporters with ties to terrorism, because of the lack of traction for the movement in Punjab.
He says that the concept of Khalistan is a project of Pakistan, designed to subvert the national security of both Canada and India. Former Canadian cabinet minister Ujjal Dossanjh and Shuvaloy Majumdar, a program director at Macdonald-Laurier, say in the foreword to the report:
“The Milewski report should be essential reading for any who wish 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.”
“The proposition of an independent Khalistan, in truth, is a backward idea from a backward
time. It is a proposal without economic or democratic logic, unloved by the very Punjabis whose lives it would most directly affect. It is a fantasy rooted in religious bigotry and chauvinism, kept alive in Canada by thugs and political hustlers unbothered by the innocent lives that have been lost in its name. It is a proposal hostile to Canada’s interest in seeing a united and prosperous India, and in that sense, threatens not just one country, but two.
“In the service of this cause, extremists animated by Pakistan seek to distort history and betray the vast majority of Sikhs who live in peace and freedom,” they added.
Milewski writes: “No matter how low the support for Khalistan sinks in India – and it has sunk very low indeed – the cause still survives in Pakistan, where jihadist groups have made common cause with Sikh separatists against their shared enemy, India”
It is also very curious, Mileswksi reports that the proposed Khalistan map does not reach one inch into traditional Sikh lands in Pakistan – not to Lahore, where Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled over a Sikh empire two hundred years ago, or even to Nankana Sahib, sacred birthplace of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru.
Milewski also quotes Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the US who is now with Washington think-tank Hudson Institute, “Khalistanis in Canada has very little stake in Punjab or India.
It’s easy for them to live in a fantasy world– while those who live in Punjab and India live in the real world.” Canada’s government and the UK have said it won’t recognize any so-called Sikh referendums.