Former pro-Khalistan leader and founder of Dal Khalsa Jaswant Singh Thakedar said the Khalistan referendum campaign being organised in few western countries is a doing of ‘Pakistan’s ISI’ and it has nothing to do with Sikhs in India. He added that ‘some Sikhs are working as tools’ for the Pakistan government. He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked on ‘major demands’ by the Sikh community.
The UK-based Sikh separatist leader was being interviewed by news agency ANI and he was referring to a referendum campaign kickstarted by the US-based secessionist group called Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), headed by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, in 2020 seeking consensus among Sikhs in a bid to secede Punjab from India.
Thakedar said those in Punjab don’t demand the referendum and added that people in Canada, US or Britain don’t have the right to vote for the secession.
“It is ‘pakhand’ (sham) to mislead people. People are understanding it a source of income for them,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Pointing out the incident of defacing the Indian Consulate in San Francisco last year allegedly by some pro-Khalistani miscreants, Thakedar said ‘there is no hand of Sikhs in this’.
Talking on last month’s Ajnala violence by supporters of ‘Warris Punjab de’ chief and Khalistani separatist leader Amritpal Singh, Thakedar said he knows nothing about Khalistan but ‘earned a lot on the name of it’.
“He (Amritpal Singh) himself, when he was in Dubai, was clean-shaven. He was not a (traditional) Sikh. He does not know anything about Sikh history. I must add that several Amritpal like him will come because those who are used by ISI, they are not used for lifetime,” he added.
The former pro-Khalistan leader lauded PM Modi’s work for the country’s Sikh community. He said PM Modi has worked ‘to meet major demands put forward by members of the Sikh community’.