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Is Khalistan Pakistan’s New Battleground

When mistrust prevails supreme, no action, howsoever pious and noble it may be, will impact the conscious of a person, in fact, it will be seen with an ulterior motive and hidden agenda. This becomes more pronounced in the case of two ‘all-weather foe’ of South Asia, India, and Pakistan. This is exactly the scenario after the opening of the Kartarpur corridor linking two holy Sikh shrines—Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India with Kar­t­arpur Sahib in Pakistan. The Indian establishment has deep concerns as to whether this will provide yet another opportunity to Islamabad to play up the ‘Khalistan’ card.  However, Indian concern is also not unfounded one since Pakistan has actively used Sikh elements in Punjab and western countries to foment trouble within India and encourage the demand for a separate Khalistan, being forever inimical of India’s stability.

Pakistan’s Dubious Activities

The turn of events during as well as prior to the opening of the Kartarpur corridor raises the question mark on the intentions of Pakistan. Pakistan has shown unusual haste in completing the Kartarpur corridor project. The intelligence agencies have attributed the early completion of the project prior to the ‘Referendum 2020’, announced by some foreign-based radical and self-styled Khalistani outfits and woo their leaders to intensify the demand of separate homeland ‘Khalistan’ for the Sikhs.

It was evident that the Pakistan army had played an active role in taking the Kartarpur project forward. Instead of Pakistan’s democratic Government engaging with its Indian counterpart, it was Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa informed Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu in August last year that Pakistan was working towards opening of the corridor in Kartarpur.

Not stopping at this, Pakistan’s information and broadcasting ministry had released a video with a poster of three separatists, Bhindranwale, Major General Shabeg Singh and Amrik Singh Khalsa in the backdrop, with ‘Khalistan 2020’ written on it. All three were killed during the army’s Operation Blue Star inside the Golden Temple complex in June 1984.

Apprehensions of Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh

Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh had echoed the similar concern of Pakistan’s sinister design of using the corridor to revive Sikh militancy and said, “the Sikh community requested the passage to the sacred Kartarpur shrine for the past 70 years, but Pakistan’s sudden decision to accept the demand indicates an ulterior motive, aimed at driving a wedge in the community by exploiting their religious sentiments.”

Even the international community started raising eyebrows on Pakistan’s sinister design on the opening of Kartarpur for Sikhs.  Recently, Mr. Peter Chalk, a US expert on terrorism, said, “an intensive social media effort aimed at radicalizing young Sikhs was currently being waged by pro-Khalistani militants based in Pakistan and Diaspora groups operating out of the US, UK, and Canada.” He further said, “There are growing indications that the ISI (of Pakistan) is orchestrating much of this activity as part of a wider campaign to co-join instability in Punjab with unrest in Kashmir.”

Viewpoint

It appears that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor is the brainchild of the Pakistan army with ulterior motives of creating disturbances along the border and use the ensuing chaos to send in more infiltrators who, in turn, can carry out terror activities.  The establishment overruled the Imran Khan’s decision of ‘no requirement of passports’ by the visiting devotees to Kartarpur Sahib. The details acquired by scanning these passports can possibly be used by Pakistan-based terror outfits and non-state actors anywhere across the world. It would be not out of place to say that the Pakistan army is perhaps plotting a dangerous plan to remain relevant in Pakistan in the eyes of its awam. As such, there has been a huge setback to its ‘reputation’ after the Abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and its helplessness to carry out any ‘positive’ response to India. A desperate Pakistan, clutching at every straw to discomfit India, seems to be reaching out to pro-Khalistan elements to open a new “Battleground” and foment trouble in Punjab.

However, India, on the other hand, seems confident of dealing with the envisaged threat and, therefore, is in no mood of giving any leverage to Pakistan and at the same time making it very clear that any misadventure will meet with an unparalleled response.

12 Dec 19/Thursday                                                                                            Written by Azeema

 

 

 

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