Questions are being raised in Indian intelligence circles why the US is ignoring anti-India activities.
New Delhi: A pro-Khalistan group that is funded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is running a massive anti-India social media campaign while operating from the heart of the United States of America.
On 10 September, as part of the ISI’s renewed focus to internationalise “Kashmir-Khalistan”, a company—Kashmir Khalistan Referendum Front (KKRF)—was registered in Washington. The address of the company is ‘910, 17th street, N.W suite, Washington and the directors of the said company are Ghazala Khan, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Muhammad Yunus.
While not much is known about Ghazala Khan and Muhammad Yunus at this stage, Pannun was, and probably still is, associated with another US-based pro Khalistan group, “Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)”, which was in news for pushing “Sikh Referendum 2020’. The group has ignored any mention of the genocide of Sikhs in Punjab during 1946-48 and the steady fall in the number and influence of the Sikhs remaining in Pakistan. Their office-bearers are in frequent contact with Pakistani diplomats in New York, Chicago and Washington.
The Sunday Guardian has found that the KKRF is also running a massive social media campaign to instigate people in the name of “Greater Khalistan” for which it is operating a website, a Twitter profile, a Facebook page and an Instagram profile in the same name.
The said website was made operational in October, while the Facebook page became operational in July 2019.
Pannun, who was encouraged by the ISI to present himself as a “human-rights” lawyer to gain legitimacy in the western world, “runs” a law firm that claims to have two separate offices in California and New York. One of the registered office address of his law firm—75-20 Astoria Blvd Suite 170 Jackson Heights, New York—is also given on “yes2khalistanorg”, which, as then name suggests, is another prominent pro-Khalistan website that was registered in July 2010, but updated on 25 September 2019.
Pannun’s Twitter account was blocked in June 2019 after he was found to be using the said platform to instigate Sikh youths to take up arms for a separate Khalistan. Earlier, on 13 November 2015, the United States District Court of the Northern District of California had dismissed a case filed by Panun’s Sikhs for Justice’s (SFJ) against Facebook for allegedly blocking the group’s page from users in India.
With pro-Khalistan forces being allowed to run their anti-India campaign from US soil without any hindrance, questions are being raised in the Indian intelligence circles as to why the US government under President Donald Trump is ignoring such anti-India activities. “Why it is ignoring the glorification of terrorists and the incitement to violence in parts of India? Imagine such a secessionist anti-US agenda running from Indian soil—would the US government accept it?” a senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs asked.