As many as 55 interlinked Kashmiri and Khalistani groups, currently operating hand-in-hand within the US, could be detrimental for both India and America, a US-based think tank warned.
In its report, the Hudson Institute also said that the activities of Khalistani groups located in North America should be investigated within the limits prescribed by US law to prevent a recurrence of the violence orchestrated by the Khalistan movement in the 1980s. It also apprehended the possibility of these groups receiving funding, support, and military training from Pakistan, which could have ties with terrorist groups operating in India.
Such diaspora-based efforts are worrisome because Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), may be assisting pro-Khalistan groups financially and organisationally, it observed.
Noting that the US government has shown reluctance to act on intelligence from India concerning Pakistan-supported Khalistan militancy, the think tank also observed that the US administration now needs to investigate the increasing hobnobbing between the two separatist groups.
In addition, the report further said that since Pakistan cannot take direct action against India, Indian intelligence agencies have warned that it will support militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir and Khalistan cadres to scale up their activities to carryh out a proxy war through militancy.
Referring to the recent cooperation between Khalistani and Kashmiri groups that has become increasingly apparent in North America, the UK, and Europe, with the extremist groups often operating in tandem, the report said: "For example, in August 2020, Khalistani and Kashmiri activists staged an indication in New York against India, and, in September 2019, activists appropriated imagery and slogans from the Black Lives Matter movement, whose aim is to redress systemic and structural white supremacy in the United States."
"Joint protests of Khalistani and Kashmiri separatists have occurred in Washington DC, Houston, Ottawa, London, Brussels, Geneva, and other European capitals," it noted.
Importantly, the recent increase in Khalistan-related anti-India activism within the US has been occurring as the United States and India are collaborating to confront the rise of China, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. Pakistan is a critical Chinese ally and therefore has a vested interest in weakening this India-US collaboration, it said.