SINCE the day Sikhs started their struggle for a separate state in order to obtain and secure their legal basic rights, India had been alleging Pakistan of supporting the movement. Many religious places and shrines of Sikh community are in Pakistan. So it has been hosting Sikh pilgrims since 1947. Indian government exaggerated the meeting of the original protagonists of the movement with Pakistani politicians such as Dhillon, Gajendar Singh and Jagit Singh during the visit of their holy places in Pakistan.
India started to cry, after the 1977 martial law, that General Zia had been not only showing his “unusual hospitality” for Sikh pilgrims of India, invited, too, in the President House for farewell party and presented some souvenirs. Indian government did not like the unusual hospitality. Indian government banned Dhillon to land on Indian soul after the Blue Star Operation in June 1984. Mr Dhillon got American citizenship, used to visit Pakistan and had close relation with many politicians, too. His unexpected hospitality from Pakistan annoyed India and finally, it termed as an anti-India act.
The Indian government claimed that “Pakistan armed, trained and to certain extent, financed Sikh militants,” When the movement became active in India and throughout the world. Indian government dragged Pakistan in the issue despite Pakistan’s assurance that it never backed up the movement. It later busted up that major Sikh organizations like All India Student Federation (AISSF), Babbar Khalisa, International Sikh Youth Federation and World Sikh Organization were backing up from Sikh Diaspora in the US, Canada, UK and other countries.
Regarding the US involvement in the issue, the Press Trust of India released a report in 2007. It was clearly stated in the report that to encourage the Khalistan movement in India, Richard Nixon administration set up a “Cover Action Plan” with the collaboration of General Yahya Khan. B. Raman -an officer of Indian Raw- also mentioned the report in his book ‘’The Kaoboys of R&W-Down memory Lane (2007)”, “the plan envisaged the encouragement of a separatist movement among the Sikhs for an independent state to be called Khalistan”.
These days, history is revising itself as Sikhs are protesting throughout the world against PM Modi’s extremist approach towards Indian minorities and despicable acts and atrocities of Indian Police on Sikh protesters in India. On the other hand, India has been showing hostility and aggressive violating on LOC. Human rights’ violation in Kashmir is making law and order’s condition more volatile.
In short, India is using all sources to damage Pakistan’s national interests following the policy to isolate Pakistan internationally. So it’s time to accelerate Gen Zia’s diplomacy towards Khalistan Movement via supporting Sikhs for a separate state for the protection of human rights. Recently, Khalistan movement’s protagonists not only launched protest against Indian Foreign minister’s speech in UN. Pakistan and other international powers should take precautionary and bilateral measures to defend Khalistan and Kashmir movements.
Concluding, Pakistan should restore trust of Sikh separatists in order to counter Indian aggression and reduce its influence in the region of South Asia. The Indian uprising only can be countered via supporting the Sikh community who are culturally and religiously interconnected to Pakistan. Morally, all major powers of the world ought to take up the issue of Indian government’s brutalities and terrorist activities on minorities taking precautionary, persuasive and innovative measures for the prosperity, stability and peace of the world.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.