IN A strong rebuttal to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s allegations against ama of Canada and other MPs of that country, a senior member of the Indo-Canadian community said Amarinder’s comments were “disgraceful and baseless.”
Harbans Singh Jandali, a community leader and former chairman of Ontario’s largest Sikh body, Ontario Sikhs and Gurdwara Council, after a meeting of the Sikh community, challenged Captain via email to mediapersons on Sunday to substantiate his allegations.
“No Canadian Sikh MP has ever been associated with the Khalistan movement. These are totally baseless and fictitious things. Captain Amarinder Singh may have some genuine grudges against some groups who are responsible for scuttling his plans to visit Canada before the Punjab elections, but he is doing a disservice to the community now by painting all our Sikh MPs as Khalistani,” claimed Jandali in his statement from Ontario.
“Can Captain Amarinder Singh provide to the community any statement ever made by any Canadian Sikh MP in support of Khalistan or proof of their any other pro-Khalistan activity? A chief minister of a state and a person of Captain Amarinder Singh’s stature should not make such baseless allegations against elected representatives of another country,” said Jandali, whose daughter Ruby Sahota is the MP of Brampton North in the Greater Toronto area.
Amarinder was quoted in the media saying that five Canadian ministers and MPs are Khalistan sympathisers. “It is true that the Canadian Sikh community has been consistently and passionately raising the issue of the killing of Sikhs in Delhi and other cities in 1984, but it is purely an issue of human rights for them. One cannot be and should not be dubbed as Khalistani for raising a voice against the killing of innocent Sikhs in 1984. There are many people in India, too, including many non-Sikhs, who talk about the denial of justice to the victims of 1984,” maintained Jandali.
Reminding Amarinder of his 2005 Canada visit, he said, “I was the general secretary of the Dixie Gudrwara in 2005 and still remember how Captain Amarinder Singh was having dinner meetings with the Khalistani lobby group in Mississauga then. I stayed away from his visit just because of his meetings with Khalistanis.”
Talking about Amarinder’s political activities in Punjab in the 80s and 90s, Jandali said, “We also remember that Captain was a signatory to the controversial Amritsar Declaration when Punjab was burning. Captain Amarinder Singh should not forget his own past.”