India asks Pakistan to remove anti-India elements from Kartarpur visual. The video shows posters by Sikhs for Justice group featuring photographs of Pro-Khalistan leader Bhindranwale and his military adviser Shabeg Singh, who were killed during Operation Blue Star in 1984. Sikhs for Justice is a banned outfit, which is pushing for Sikh Referendum 2020 … reports Asian Lite News
Two days ahead of the highly-anticipated inauguration of the cross-border Kartarpur Corridor, India on Wednesday voiced concerns over the presence of three Sikh separatist leaders, including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, in an official promotional video of the corridor released by Pakistan and has raised the matter with Islamabad.
The video shows posters by Sikhs for Justice group featuring photographs of Pro-Khalistan leader Bhindranwale and his military adviser Shabeg Singh, who were killed during Operation Blue Star in 1984. Sikhs for Justice is a banned outfit, which is pushing for Sikh Referendum 2020.
The video was released on Monday, ahead of the November 9 inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor, which will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab with the Kartarpur shrine in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev spent his final days.
“India has raised with Pakistan the presence of anti-India, objectionable elements in the video, and asked for removal of the visual,” Indian government sources said on Wednesday.
PUNJAB CM CAPTAIN AMARINDER SINGH: On the one hand, they are seemingly showing us compassion and humanity, and on the other, they seem intent on using the corridor to woo the Indian Sikhs to promote the ISI-backed 2020 Khalistan Referendum and creating sleeper cells here
In fact, India is worried that Sikh separatists should not misuse the corridor to leverage their 2020 separatist agenda, sources said.
India will be watching “very, very closely” the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration and the next few days’ developments.
India has from time to time voiced its concerns to Pakistan over the activities of anti-India Sikh separatists, including that of Gopal Singh Chawla, and Islamabad has acted on those matters, including removing Chawla from Pakistan’s gurdwara board a few months ago, the sources said.
“We have to see if Pakistan continues to keep our concerns in mind,” the sources added.
Indian Leaders Protest
Reacting strongly to the use of pictures of Khalistani separatist leaders in the Pakistani video song on the Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said this clearly endorsed his stand that there was a hidden ISI agenda behind the historic corridor.
Talking informally with media persons on the sidelines of the special session of the Assembly here to mark the 550th Prakash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev, he said he had been warning against the ISI role in the Pakistan decision to open the corridor since the day their Prime Minister announced it.
Even though the corridor marked the realization of the long-cherished dream of the entire Sikh community, including him, to pay their respects at the historic shrine, India could not afford to ignore the ISI threat that was attached to it, said the Chief Minister, stressing the need for extreme caution.
“This is what I have been cautioning against all along: they (the ISI) has a negative agenda behind it. We have to be very careful,” he said, in response to a question.
The video, he said, had only exposed the true intent of the ISI.
“On the one hand, they are seemingly showing us compassion and humanity, and on the other, they seem intent on using the corridor to woo the Indian Sikhs to promote the ISI-backed 2020 Khalistan Referendum and creating sleeper cells here”, Amarinder Singh said.
The controversy over the Pakistani video song has been triggered by the use of a picture showing three Khalistani separatist leaders, who were killed during Operation Blue Star in June 1984.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on Saturday and dispatch the first batch of pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on the occasion of the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.
The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, originally known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, is a highly revered Sikh shrine, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life, and it is also his final resting place. The corridor connects the shrine in Pakistan’s Punjab province with the Indian Punjab.