The siege of Nankana Sahib exposed Imran Khan’s motivated championship of the Sikh cause
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has to give up his blunderous ways if he wants to convince the world of his credibility. While “championing the cause” of minorities in India and using an old video from another country as visual evidence of what he calls “pogroms” here, he conveniently forgot violations of minorities in his own backyard. A mob gheraoed Nankana Sahib Gurdwara, the birthplace of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, and pelted stones over the arrest of a few locals accused of abducting and converting a teenaged Sikh girl last September. What makes this significant is the fact that Khan, who has been curating the minority Sikh constituency to fuel Khalistan hawks against India, has been unable to protect them from genuine abuse and vandalism of their highest shrine on his home turf. The attack completely jeopardises his initiative on the Kartarpur corridor to link Indian Sikhs to the gurdwara. Most damaging for him, the hold-up of innocent pilgrims at the shrine has given grist to the Indian propaganda machinery about minority persecution in Pakistan and the need for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to rehabilitate them. The Modi Government doesn’t need to conduct awareness drives on CAA, the siege of Nankana Sahib has been convincing enough with Khan dim-wittedly becoming its spokesman.
Pakistan has had a dismal track record as far as the treatment of minorities living on its soil is concerned, be it of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Khalsis, Shias and Ahmadiyya Muslims and even Indian Muslims who migrated to that country at the time of the Partition. Over the last two decades, the population of Sikhs in Pakistan has come down from 40,000 in 2002 to a dismal 8,000 in 2019. But driven by an anti-India design, it did try to placate Sikhs worldwide with the Kartarpur corridor and by reviving the centrality of Nankana Sahib. So the vandalism of angry protesters over the weekend was the proverbial spanner in the works. Not only have many Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) generals, including the former chief Hamid Gul, openly supported the Khalistan movement, several officers have also been acting as handlers and organisers of Sikh separatist activities in Canada, Europe, the US, the UK and Malaysia. Not surprisingly, several Khalistani extremists are being sheltered in Pakistan. In its zeal to foment trouble on Indian soil, the ISI has also been targetting and rewarding crime syndicates in Punjab that have expressed sympathies for the Khalistani movement on their social media platforms. In fact, shedding all pretensions, during the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had released a music video displaying posters of Khalistani separatist leaders in the background. But reports of forced conversions and the dwindling Sikh population in Pakistan have exposed Khan’s duplicity. Unable to drum up much support at the UNGA after the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, he now stands even more exposed and ridiculed. Hopefully, Sikhs across the world will see through Pakistan’s nefarious design for what it really is.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)