The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its sinister Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) have been housing Khalistan (Sikh) extremists in historic Gurudwaras. Pakistan’s support for the Khalistani militants is not a new phenomenon. During the 1980s, Pakistan supplied arms, weapons and ammunition to Sikh Extremist groups such as Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Commando Force, and Khalistan Liberation Force. All this is a part of the Bleed India Strategy, which is used by Pakistanis to offend India.
The conflict is not just limited to the Indian Mainland. The US-based Sikhs for Justice and the International Sikh Youth Federation are pro-Khalistani Agencies that are involved in extremist activities overseas. After the famous Operation Blue Star, authorities were unprepared for how quickly extremism spread and gained support in Canada, with extremists involved in killing thousands of Hindus and also include blowing up Air India flights. Canada has become a safe ground for Khalistani entities where they can operate events in India.
An Indian Army veteran has claimed that Khalistani secessionists are demanding a separate homeland in the sovereign territory of India, and are getting support from Pakistani Muslims in Britain and Canada. The home ministry had said a total of 9 individuals were operating from Pakistan and other foreign soil and were involved in various acts of terrorism and designated as terrorists under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Pakistan is also involved in funding the organizations and involving them in drug smuggling and money laundering to strengthen secessionist movements. A veteran Pakistan army general, Mirza Aslam Beg, has also been openly pushing the Pakistani government to assist the movement anyhow.
According to Intelligence officials, the websites of Sikhs for Justice (SJF) share their domain with and source content from a Karachi-based website. The issue of Sikh radicalism has been worrying India, especially given the presence of Khalistan sympathizers on the Pakistani side who play a role in the management of holy Sikh places in Pakistan. India had earlier protested after such individuals featured in Pakistan’s team for the Kartarpur corridor project.
Ravinder Singh Pinka, a Khalistani terrorist who, along with his eight accomplices, hijacked an Indian Airlines plane from Srinagar to Lahore in 1984, is roaming free in Gurdwara Panja Sahib and mingling with Sikh devotees who have gone to Pakistan to observe the 100th anniversary of ‘Saka Panja Sahib.’
A picture shows that while Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh was visiting the gurudwara in Pakistan, Pinka saw a photo opportunity and started walking along with him. This photo went viral on social media.
When the SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee) officials were informed about the hijacker Ravinder Pinka, the video was immediately taken off the website of the religious body. But, by then, several people had taken screenshots of the picture, which is now stoking a controversy.
According to sources, an official of the SGPC said that the Jathedar belongs to the entire community, and nobody is prohibited from meeting him. Giani Ji might not even know or recognise Pinka, he explained.
Ravinder Pinka and his eight partners in crime were given a death sentence by a Pakistan court but were released under an amnesty scheme. Since then, all the hijackers, according to Indian agencies, have been residing in Pakistan. They continue to carry forward the anti-India agenda of the ISI.
Khalistanis like Harvinder Singh, Wadhwa Singh, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, Lakhbir Singh Rode, Ranjeet Singh Neeta, Gajendra Singh, Manjit Fauji and Manjit Pinka, are regularly sighted at historical Gurdwaras in Pakistan and sermonise Sikh visitors.
Khalistanis, to exploit religious sentiments, deliberately operate from Gurdwaras. They post profile pictures with the holy Panja Sahib Gurdwara, which is linked to Guru Nanak Dev, in the background to convey that they are “pious and pure.”