NEW DELHI: Continuing to be pushed by Sikhs operating in US, UK and Canada the Khalistani movement operates with the full knowledge and tacit support of Pakistan, claims a recently released report called Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan. Veteran investigative journalist Terry Milewski who provided research for the report and has been covering the Khalistani movement for over 30 years, explains in an interview to Ashwin Ahmad that their leaders swear undying loyalty to Pakistan so much so that all the land they claim for an independent nation is demanded from the Indian side of Punjab, never Pakistani Punjab. Milewski also points out that in his investigations, he came across a map released by Khalistani separatists which includes not just Punjab but territories that would go all the way up to New Delhi. He contends that if this map were to ever become reality it could block the rest of India’s access to Jammu and Kashmir. This suits Pakistan’s cause who are looking to ‘avenge their humiliation’ against India for the 1971 war. Separatist Sikhs too have a vested interest as Pakistan remains their safe haven. The biggest example of this is Talvinder Singh Parmar – mastermind of the Air India 182 bombings – who fled Canada for Pakistan and remained there till he was shot and killed by Punjab police while trying to cross the border in 1992.
Speaking about the seeming apathy and inaction by the West especially in countries like Canada and the UK etc. Milewski points to a number of factors. He states that not only have western countries been ‘blind’ and soft’ but have little experience of terrorism in the way India does. In Canada, many politicians have little idea about Khalistan and the problems facing India and the idea of catering to the Sikh community is very tempting. Not only is the community rich but they tend to vote in a bloc. They are also very careful not to break any laws in Canada, UK, or any other western country which ensures that they remain off the radar