Khalistan terror: How India got Canada to acknowledge the real threat
New Delhi, Dec 14: The listing of Khalistan extremism as a real threat by Canada is an important move. The decision comes in the wake of India raising concerns about the threat from Khalistan terror groups.
In the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada, it is stated, some individuals in Canada continue to support Sikh (Khalistani) extremist ideologies and movements. This political movement aims to create an independent homeland for Sikhs called Khalistan, in India. Violent activities in support of an independent Sikh homeland have fallen since their height during the 1982-1993 period when individuals and groups conducted numerous terrorist attacks. The 1985 Air India bombing by Khalistani terrorists, which killed 331 people, remains the deadliest terrorist plot ever launched in Canada. While attacks around the world in support of this movement have declined, support for the extreme ideologies of such groups remains. For example, in Canada, two key Sikh organizations, Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation, have been identified as being associated with terrorism and remain listed terrorist entities under the Criminal Code."
The move is an important one and India has often spoken about this threat, which is looming larger. The Canadian Prime Minster, Justin Trudeau had repeatedly failed to take into account the sensitivities regarding the issue.
India has over the years shared ample information with various nations including Canada about the increasing threat from Khalistan militants. India has said that while it was Pakistan which was nurturing these persons, funding was sourced from various countries including, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United Kingdom.
These nations have allowed various events such as the Referendum 2020 to be organised on its soil. The Indian intelligence agencies have said that such events were aimed at whipping up sentiments and also aimed at laying the groundwork for the revival of the movement.
Over the past couple of months there have been several warnings issued by the Intelligence Bureau about the rise of the Khalistan movement. While the Punjab police have been kept on their toes for sometime now, there have been developments relating to the Khalistan movement in other parts of the country as well.
Meanwhile the Indian intelligence is keeping a close watch on the activities of the ISI and the Sikhs for Justice, a pro Khalistan group. Four meetings in November were held between the ISI and SJF.
The meeting was aimed at whipping up passions and also push for the establishment of Khalistan.
Reports state that the SJF is planning to fund the visit of nearly a lakh Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, which falls next year.
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.