A leading American think tank, Hudson Institute, is calling for authorities to pay urgent attention to US-based Khalistan supporters.
The report entitled “Pakistan’s Destabilization Playbook: Khalistani Activism in the US” calls for the US to investigate the “likelihood of unlawful foreign funding of the Khalistan movement.”
“The US government cannot afford to allow separatist movements from India, including those with ties to militant and terrorist groups, to grow unchecked among its otherwise law-abiding Sikh community.”
Hudson Institute assembled a group of South Asia experts to evaluate the fifty-five interlinked Kashmiri and Khalistani groups.
These groups are currently operating within the US and their is a clear possibility that these groups receive funding, support, and military training from Pakistan.
It notes that these groups also have ties to militant and terrorist groups in India, and could detrimentally impact US foreign policy in South Asia.
According to the report, these Khalistani separatists are backed by Pakistan which also supports separatists in India’s Kashmir.
“Its experience with Islamist extremist groups must serve as a template for dealing with Khalistan extremists, and so recruitment or fundraising for militancy or ‘martyrdom’ must not be allowed on US soil, even if the actual acts of violence are to take place far away, in India. US authorities must not let ostensibly peaceful pro-Khalistan activism become the precursor of a new wave of violence in India’s Punjab state.”
The report notes that the Khalistan campaign’s most ardent supporters are located in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States.
Despite this, the report observes, US government has shown no interest in violence committed by Khalistan activists.
The report notes that Khalistani activists active in the US often use Sikh places of worship to attract followers and remember slain terrorists in Punjab.
The report call upon the US government to seriously dedicate the requisite intelligence and law enforcement resources to help India address the concerns associated with Khalistani movement.
“The Khalistan movement’s history and recent mobilisation should serve as a reminder that, unless the threat it poses is somehow preempted, it could expand to a level where action might be too late to prevent large-scale loss of life.”
They suggest that activities of Khalistani groups located in the US should be investigated, within the limits prescribed by law, to prevent a reoccurrence of the violence orchestrated by the Khalistan movement in the 1980s.
The report adds that none of these groups has been accused of a crime in the US.
However, the report notes that the recent increase in Khalistan-related anti-India activism are occurring within the US.
In the past the Khalistan movement in the North America was linked to the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 from Montreal to London.This barbaric bombing had left 329 innocent people dead.
Another report by Terry Milewski for the MacDonald Laurier Institute provides details of recent Khalistani group activities in Canada.
The Hudson Institute report has been jointly authored by leading experts on South Asia Husain Haqqani, Christine Fair, Aparna Pande, Sam Westrop, Seth Oldmixon and Michael Rubin.