India Today – Sikhs for Justice announces campaign in Kartarpur, move raises security concerns

Anand Patel

New Delhi – India, 09 September 2018. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the US-based NGO leading the secessionist movement ‘Referendum 2020’ for Punjab has announced that it will campaign during the 550th celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev birth anniversary in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

The announcement comes within days of new Pakistan government’s offer of free visa for Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Gurdwara which is the final resting place of the first Sikh Guru.

During his visit to Islamabad to participate in swearing-in ceremony of new prime minister Imran Khan, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had divulged that the Pakistan army chief is willing to consider a corridor to Kartapur.

Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had met PM Modi to discuss Kartarpur corridor issue. Union Home Ministry has already alerted Punjab government over the renewed efforts by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to revive terrorism in the state.

Legal advisor for SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in a press statement on Saturday announced that it will campaign to gather support for the referendum at Kartarpur during the celebrations.

SFJ has been under the watch of Indian security agencies after its London rally in August in support of Referendum 2020. Indian government had strongly protested against the UK government permitting SFJ to hold anti-India rally in London.

Security concerns

The announcement by SFJ to campaign during the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur could raise serious security concerns for Indian and Punjab government since lakhs of Sikhs from all over the world are expected to converge at one of their most sacred pilgrim sites.

Apart from the Pakistan army’s offer of creating a corridor for the Sikh pilgrims to Kartapur which is barely 3 km from Indian border, the new Pakistan government has offered free visas for the Indian nationals for the event which will be held next year.

The anti-India NGO has announced to hold polling for referendum in major cities of North America, Europe, Australia, Middle East and Punjab.

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