Latest trends show surge in pro-Khalistan sentiment

India strongly objects to Khalistan referendum; terms it a 'farcical exercise'


News Desk September 28, 2022

The timeline of various Khalistan referendums and the number of Sikhs who voted in favour of an independent Khalistan reflect that the demand of Sikhs for an Independent homeland in India is gradually being accepted globally.

According to an infographic released by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, the latest trends indicate increasing separatist sentiments, particularly amongst the Sikh diaspora.

Twenty per cent of the adult Sikh population in Brampton, Canada participated in the Khalistan referendum which was held earlier this month.

In the referendum, organized by the pro-Khalistani and pro-separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Sikhs demanded freedom from India and the establishment of an independent state of Khalistan.

Under the leadership of Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, Sikhs demanded their right in a peaceful and democratic way.

The Sikh community raised anti-India and pro-Khalistan slogans during the referendum. Moreover, more than 2,000 cars reportedly took part in the rally.

The campaign has raised awareness in the global community with regards to atrocities committed against Sikhs by India and it is believed it will further pressurize India to hold an official referendum.

During the press briefing to media outlets before the referendum, Pannu showed the Khalistan map with Shimla as its capital.

The huge turnout for the referendum depicted that the issue of the Khalistan movement is still alive and is a mainstream movement.

Read: Sikh brother meets Muslim sister as Kartarpur reunites another family

Indian pressure

The Indian government urged its Canadian counterpart to act against the rising pro-Khalistani sentiment in Canada, which is home to over one million Sikhs.

According to international media reports, the Indian government tried to apply diplomatic pressure on the Canadian government ahead of the Khalistan referendum voting.

However, Canadian officials maintained that it could not take away the right of its nationals to engage in any kind of political activity and demand their rights through peaceful and democratic means.

Canadian parliamentarian Sukhminder Singh Dhaliwal also said that constitutional and democratic political expression could not be stopped.

India, through the statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), strongly objected to the referendum and termed it as a “farcical exercise held and supported by politically motivated extremist elements”.

Moreover, despite professing to be a democratic country and having freedom of expression leading Indian newspapers and television channels didn’t cover the peaceful demonstration of the Sikh community and negatively covered the entire event.

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