Khalistan Referendum Raises Considerations in Canada-India Relations.
Sikhs for Justice Set up Referendum as PM Modi Addresses Extremist Actions with PM Trudeau.
In a pivotal occasion, the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) orchestrated a Khalistan referendum on the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. This prevalence, which transpired on Sunday, aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expressions of apprehension to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau relating to extremist factions working in Canada on the exact same day.
In a bid to ascertain an impartial Sikh homeland generally known as “Khalistan” in Punjab, the US-based group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) is intensifying its efforts. Based in 2007, SFJ, led by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a authorized practitioner based mostly in america and an alumnus of Panjab College, has been on the forefront of the secessionist motion.
The marketing campaign, aptly named ‘Referendum 2020’, is geared toward, in Pannun’s phrases, “liberating Punjab from Indian occupation”. This initiative, as outlined in SFJ’s London Declaration in August 2018, units out to conduct the inaugural non-binding referendum among the many international Sikh group relating to the query of secession from India and the institution of Punjab as an autonomous nation.
SFJ has introduced plans to carry polling for the referendum in November 2020, encompassing Punjab and a number of other main cities throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Kenya, and Center Japanese nations. The motion seeks to garner worldwide assist for its trigger and interact Sikhs worldwide within the pursuit of Khalistan’s independence.
The Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, a major website inside the Sikh group, was beforehand overseen by the distinguished SFJ determine, Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Tragically, Nijjar met a deadly finish on June 18 within the gurdwara’s car parking zone, focused by assailants who stay unidentified. SFJ vehemently alleges India’s involvement in Nijjar’s assassination; nevertheless, the Built-in Murder Investigation Workforce (IHIT) dealing with the case has not made any arrests or formally attributed a motive to the crime.
Regardless of India’s repeated entreaties to the Canadian authorities to handle separatist actions occurring inside its borders, instant motion seems unlikely. This sentiment was echoed by Prime Minister Trudeau, who was attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi. He emphasised the crucial of enabling diaspora Canadians to specific themselves with out undue interference from exterior forces.
In a subsequent press convention following the G-20 Summit, PM Trudeau underscored Canada’s steadfast dedication to upholding freedoms of expression, conscience, and peaceable protest. Concurrently, he reaffirmed their unwavering stance in opposition to violence and hatred. The discussions between PM Trudeau and PM Modi encompassed Khalistani extremism and issues relating to overseas interference.
The Khalistan motion, advocating for the institution of a sovereign Sikh state incorporating territories from each India and Pakistan, traces its roots to the aftermath of the British Empire’s decline. The motion gained momentum within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties with monetary and political backing from the Sikh diaspora. Nevertheless, inside discord, stringent legislation enforcement measures, and dwindling assist led to its decline within the Nineteen Nineties. Whereas the motion nonetheless garners some backing from inside India and the Sikh diaspora, it has but to comprehend its final goal. Annual protests function poignant commemorations for many who misplaced their lives throughout Operation Blue Star. At occasions, the Khalistan motion has articulated territorial aspirations extending past Punjab, encompassing areas of North India and the western states.
The prevalence of the Khalistan referendum inside Canadian borders has magnified issues relating to its potential affect on bilateral relations between Canada and India. The divergent approaches in the direction of Khalistani actions, juxtaposed with resolute assist for freedom of expression, are poised to stay a degree of competition between the 2 nations.
On this dynamic panorama, Prime Minister Modi’s engagement with Prime Minister Trudeau takes on heightened significance. The timing of their discussions, coinciding with the Khalistan referendum, underscores the urgency and gravity of the scenario. India’s persistent plea for motion in opposition to separatist actions finds itself at a crossroads with Canada’s dedication to safeguarding particular person liberties, prompting a nuanced analysis of the fragile stability between safety issues and democratic values.