In the recent high-level meeting over Kartarpur corridor between officials of India and Pakistan, New Delhi has handed over a dossier detailing how Sikh pilgrims from India visiting shrines in Pakistan were openly subjected to pro-Khalistan propaganda.
The dossier not only details “anti-India” propaganda carried out by Khalistani elements during pilgrimages in the past, but also mentions how these elements eulogised slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani during these visits and even tried to arouse “anti-India” sentiments over demonetisation.
The 23-page dossier also details how pro-Khalistani elements burnt the Indian flag and hurt sentiments of the pilgrims.
The dossier includes social media pages of some Pakistani Sikh leaders who posted messages like ‘Khalsa Khalistan Da, Kashmir Pakistan Da’.
In several recent meetings on the Kartarpur corridor, India has expressed displeasure to Pakistan over the presence of pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawala in a committee set up by Pakistan for implementation of the project. One such meeting was cancelled after India learnt of Chawala’s presence in the committee.
The issue was reiterated at the meeting on July 3. Indian officials say Pakistan assured during the meeting that it would not let the premises of the shrine be used for “anti-India” propaganda. It was also conveyed to Delhi that Pakistan has dropped Chawala from the committee.
Expressing its displeasure, India had put a picture of Chawala burning the Tricolour on the cover of the dossier, which also contains a picture of Chawala’s meeting with Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed.
According to the dossier, the four annual Indian Sikh Jathas that visit important gurdwaras in Pakistan every year under the bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, 1974, have been regularly subjected to anti-India propaganda. “Unfortunately, a large part of this propaganda is perpetuated during the religious functions organised by Evacuee Trust Property Board, Pakistan and the forum has been exploited to promote the agenda of Khalistan instead of focusing on the religious discourse,” it said.