Kartarpur corridor: Why India can never afford to drop its guard against Pakistan
New Delhi, Nov 07: India has raised concerns over the video relating to the Kartarpur corridor in which pictures of slain Khalistan leaders were displayed in the background. India said that it hoped that Pakistan would not show that they support such things which are anti-India in nature.
After the official video was released, Pakistan then changed the same. It released another version on Twitter. The video featured the posters of Jarnail Singh, Bhindranwale, Amrik Singh Khalsa and Major General (Dismissed) Shabeg Singh. It may be recalled that these persons were killed during Operation Blue Star in June 1984.
Euphoria is alright:
There has been a lot of euphoria around this project. There could be a thaw in the relations between the two countries in the long run, but Indian agencies warn of possible needling by Pakistan. Further concerns have also been raised about the ISI using the corridor as a route to send in terrorists.
The worry for the agencies is that the ISI would try and propagate among the pilgrims the need for a pro-Khalistan movement. The ISI would also look to evoke sentiments, the agencies believe.
The agencies also feel that the ISI and its agents would go all out to whip up passions. This becomes necessary for both the ISI and pro-Khalistan groups as the movement has failed to generate any great mass support. While on one hand, the ISI could build a terror infrastructure, they realise that no movement would take off as desired unless and until there are mass support and sympathy among the people. In this context, all efforts would be made to utilise the pilgrimage to Pakistan, an Intelligence Bureau officer informed OneIndia.
Chief Minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh said that this is what I have been warning about since day one. Pakistan has a hidden agenda here. He said that Pakistan would not dare to commit any mischief, but Punjab being a border state needs to be on alert at all times. We are also keeping a close tab on the situation and maintaining a high state of alert, Captain Singh further added.
Surge in Khalistan activity:
Further, there has been a surge in the activities of Pakistan where Khalistan separatism is concerned.
Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that along with the rise of Khalistan terrorists, one must worry more about the separatism as well. Recently, a former top cop from Punjab, Shashi Kant said that the pro-Khalistan activists are trying to set up base in the United Kingdom, especially in Birmingham city.
India has been raising concerns about pro-Khalistan elements in Pakistan misusing the Kartarpur corridor project. India handed over a dossier detailing how Sikh pilgrims visiting shrines in Pakistan were being subjected to pro-Khalistan propaganda.
A detailed dossier:
A detailed dossier listing out the activities of the pro-Khalistan groups was handed over to Islamabad by India. The dossier, which was handed over during the Kartarpur Corridor talks at the Wagah border speaks about the various activities of the pro-Khalistan groups, including the Sikhs for Justice. The SJF was recently banned in India.
The group operates freely in Pakistan the dossier said, while also attaching an image of a pro-Khalistan leader, Gopal Singh Chawla meeting with terrorist and Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed.
The ISI has nurtured for long terrorists part of pro-Khalistan groups. They have been aided with funds, arms and training.
However, there appears to be a strategy shift at the moment and the pro-Khalistan forces want to make this movement a political one. The first signs were seen when the Sikhs for Justice called on Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan to support their movement. The SJF which would organise the next Referendum 2020 in Pakistan had called on Imran Khan seeking political support for the movement.
Carbon copy Kashmir:
Officials in India are closely watching the developments. An official in New Delhi informed that the ISI wants to take the Kashmir route in Punjab. This has always been the plan, but by getting the politics into it, it is clear that they want to take the Kashmir route.
It is carbon copy of Kashmir says the officer. On one hand, they are training the terrorists and helping them stage attacks in Punjab. There has been a sudden surge in activity in Punjab, which includes terror attacks, propaganda and also setting up of modules.
While the ISI would allow this to continue on one hand, on the other it would want the political leadership to take a stand on the issue, the officer explained.
The SJF has been told clearly to take the political route so that the movement gets political legitimacy.
Once the stamp is given, then the intention is to get the Pakistan leadership to raise the issue on international forums, the UN, just the way it does in the case of Kashmir.
Close on the heels of these developments, the Intelligence Bureau has information about how the ISI would try and brainwash the Sikhs. This would be done to give the cause further legitimacy. The ISI would want the locals to speak up in favour of a separate Punjab nation.
Once there is local support for such a cause, it makes the job of causing panic even more easier. The locals would be expected to provide support to the terrorists who claim that they are fighting for a separate Punjab nation.
The SJF in a recent letter stated that several 100s of its campaigners have reached Pakistan to coordinate the Referendum 2020 campaign in the Nankana Sahib during the ongoing 549th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Devji.
The letter further said Referendum 2020 banners and Khalistan flags with the life-size portrait of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale have been placed throughout the Nankana Sahib complex.
"SJF will initiate the registration of votes of Referendum 2020 during the next years scheduled 550th birth celebrations at Kartarpur Sahib. A permanent office of the SJF will be established in Lahore to coordinate the registration of Referendum votes."
The worry for the agencies is that the ISI would try and propagate among the pilgrims the need for a pro-Khalistan movement.