NEW YORK: A US-based Sikh rights group has called on Pakistan to raise the issue of Sikhs’ demand for Independence Referendum to liberate “Indian Occupied Punjab” to create “Khalistan” during the upcoming Heart of Asia (HoA) Conference on Afghanistan in Amritsar.
“India is a country with seventy year history of persecuting Sikh, Muslim and Christian minorities and of crushing with violence the peaceful and democratic demand for ‘right to self determination’ of the Sikhs and Muslims of Indian Occupied Punjab and Kashmir, (respectively)”, the Sikhs for Justice (SfJ) said in a letter to the Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, released on Wednesday.
Aziz will represent Pakistan during the HoA Conference in Amritsar on December 3-4.
“Ensuring the right to self-determination to the people of Indian Occupied Punjab and Kashmir is essential to the peace and stability of the region as it will put an end to state-sponsored violence against indigenous people in Indian Occupied territories of Kashmir and Punjab”, the letter states.
“It is unfortunate that today’s India, headed by Narendra Modi, a Hindu supremacist, is championing the campaign against terrorism. Narendra Modi and his party believes in and practices a fascist ideology and runs a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a ‘Hindu’ nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity.”
Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, said that HoA countries were being approached to remind them that the peace and stability in the region cannot be achieved without ensuring right to self-determination to the peoples of Indian Occupied Punjab and Kashmir”.
“India is following double standards by championing the cause of peace when at home she is committing genocidal violence against religious minorities”, Pannun said.
In support of its letter, SFJ also submitted a report, entitled “Existential Threat to Sikhs In Indian Occupied Punjab”, addressed to Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.