Sunday, July 31

Kashmiri separatists’ and Khalistanis lobby together

Kashmiri lobbyists continue with their anti-India propaganda, often working in tandem with Khalistan protagonists in US, Canada and in many European countries, writes Jatinder Preet in The Sunday Guardian.
Kashmiri lobbyists have made common cause with Khalistani protagonists in the United States, Canada and European countries for long. While the arrest of Ghulam Nabi Fai in the US for getting funds from Pakistan's ISI is in the spotlight, many more similar Kashmiri and Khalistani lobbyists are still working, often together, against India.
The Khalistan movement is believed to be almost over in India, but the Khalistani propagandists continue with their activities in friendly countries. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, self-styled president of the Council of Khalistan has been more prominent of this lot. In a US Congressional hearing in 2004, speaking as one of the main witnesses, he called for cutting off aid to India and asked for "support to the cause of freedom in the subcontinent" to help end what he called "the repression of Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, and other minorities in India". Supporting him was Ghulam Nabi Fai, although he kept himself confined to Kashmir.
Earlier in 2000, Fai led a delegation from the Kashmiri American Council to the Guru Nanak Foundation Gurudwara in Silver Spring, Maryland. Fai's joint statement with Dr Paramjit Singh Ajrawat, founder of Anti-Defamation Sikh Council for Khalistan, was released later which called for the US and the United Nations to intensify their efforts to facilitate a peaceful solution to the "liberation of the Sikh Homeland, Khalistan and the 52-year-old Kashmir conflict".
The propaganda continues, with Kashmiri activists often featuring in Khalistan groups' statements, besides participating in common protest activities. Last month in Canada, Kashmiri and Sikh activists oragnised a joint protest in opposition to the death sentence of Davinderpal Singh Bhullar in India. Similarly, in June last year, a joint protest was organised in Toronto, the venue of the G20 Summit. A similar joint protest was held in Brussels in December last year, timed for the European Union-India Summit when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on an official tour of the EU. Gurmit Singh Aulakh represented the Khalistani cause in the rally comprising mainly of Kashmiri groups from across Europe.
Habib Yousafzai, the spokesperson of Canada based World Kashmir Diaspora Alliance (WKDA), is one of the more active members of the web group Khalistan where he regularly posts on alleged human rights violations in India. The Khalistani lobby returned the compliment when in a memorandum submitted to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights last month it quoted WKDA on Kashmir, while listing alleged cases of human rights abuses of Sikhs and other non-Hindu minorities in India.
(The picture has been taken from the website of World Kashmiri Diaspora Alliance)

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