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Khalistani elements in Pak in lockstep with Kashmiri separatists

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Not surprisingly, the Khalistan movement has got strong support in Pakistan, which India claims, extensively supports, facilitates and harbours Khalistani elements to continue their demand for a separate state.

Ant-India notorious figures such as Gopal Singh Chawla, who has been openly lashing out at India and showcasing pro-Khalistan banners and flags at gurdwaras in Pakistan, is not only based in Pakistan’s Punjab province, but is a senior member of the Sikh community in Pakistan as well.

Chawla is a standing supporter of the Pakistan military establishment and happens to be a supporter of former premier Imran Khan, during whose tenure, the Kartarpura Gurdwara Darbar Sahib got renovated and the Kartarpur Corridor plan became a beautiful reality.

But for India, tackling the Khalistan movement and its referendum seeking independence from India is a matter of serious concern and is a sensitive vulnerable point, which can be exploited by its arch-rival Pakistan. <br> <br>”India had supported Bengalis to break Pakistan into pieces in the past. The issue of Kashmir is also somewhat of the same demand of holding a plebiscite for right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir – another contention between Pakistan and India.

“And this Khalistan movement is another demand of independence of a Khalistan state. So, Pakistan officially supports the Kashmir cause and their demand of independence from India. It would be difficult to say if Pakistan would not be desirous of extending a similar support to the Khalistan movement as well,” said Javed Siddique, senior political analyst.

Pakistan has in the past linked any question related to the support to Khalistan movement with the Kashmir dispute and has stated that India should hear the demands of the people of Kashmir and those demanding a separate state (Khalistan) and let them decide their future.

Pakistani media has been talking about Indian government’s action against Khalistan leaders, protests in Australia, the UK and other countries.

While the Pakistan government or its military establishment has never openly expressed their support to the pro-Khalistan movement, it is believed that as the Khalistan issue is similar to the Kashmir dispute, and also because Khalistan leaders openly express their support to the Kashmir cause and take Pakistan’s side, it is more likely of Pakistan to be supportive of the Khalistan movement and provide support to its leadership.

–IANS<br>hamza/arm

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