Pak diplomatic fly in Canada Sikh referendum soup

Published on Sep 23, 2022 10:40 AM IST

The visit of Pakistani Consul General Vancouver Janbaz Khan to pro Khalistan Gurudwaras in Surrey on the day of Sikh referendum indicates that Islamabad continues to instigate and support Sikh radicals against India.

Fishing in troubled waters: Pakistani diplomat Janbaz Khan wearing green headband addresses Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Surrey with photographs of top Khalistani leaders behind him.
Fishing in troubled waters: Pakistani diplomat Janbaz Khan wearing green headband addresses Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Surrey with photographs of top Khalistani leaders behind him.

On the day the so-called Sikh Referendum was held in Brampton, Ontario, the Pakistani Consul General Janbaz Khan visited two pro-Khalistan Gurudwara in Surrey in Vancouver ostensibly to thank the office-bearers for sending donations for flood relief in Pakistan.

The Pakistan CG Khan, who has done two stints in India in Pakistani High Commission, visited pro-Khalistan Sri Dashmesh Darbar and Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara in Surrey on September 18 along with two officers of his consulate and held secret meetings with the separatist office bearers.

ALSO READ: India puts UK, Canada on notice over Sikh radicals and attacks on Hindu temples

The President of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara is Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who carries a 10 lakh bounty on his head as he is wanted in four NIA cases pertaining to Sikh radicalism including the conspiracy to kill a Hindu priest, Kamaldeep Sharma, at Phillaur in Punjab. The Dashmesh Darbar temple is also run by pro-separatists’ elements and friends of Nijjar.

On Friday, the NIA filed supplementary chargesheet in the case related to the killing of the Hindu priest. The anti-terror task force charged Arshdeep Singh, aka Arsh, and Nijjar, both based in Canada, of hatching a conspiracy to disturb peace and disrupt the communal harmony. Gagandeep Singh, aka Gaggu, had allegedly supplied weapons to the members of the terror gang on the directions of Arsh.

While the Justin Trudeau government has officially communicated to India on September 16 that it does not recognise the so-called referendum and respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India, the fact is that due to votebank compulsions, the Canadian government has done little to curb anti-India tendencies amongst the radicalized Sikh community. The Indian angst has been communicated verbally and in writing to Toronto at the highest political as well as institutionalized security levels.

As Nijjar, chief of Khalistan Tiger Force, was the representative of proscribed Sikhs for Justice platform run by US based separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the visit of Pakistan CG on the Brampton referendum day confirms that Pakistani deep state is fishing in troubled waters.

It is now known for decades that Pakistani ISI is the main player behind this Sikh separatist movement with several India’s most wanted Sikh terrorists taking shelter in Lahore. Over the past decades, India has handed over dossier of Sikh terrorists and gangsters taking shelter in Pakistan to Islamabad for deporting them back to their country of origin but to no avail.

Nijjar along with another associate Moninder Singh Boyle, former president of Dashmesh Darbar, were the instrumental in launching a campaign against Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted in 2005 Air India Kanishka bombing case. Malik was murdered in Surrey on July 24, 2022.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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