February 26, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar (February 26, 2010): Rejecting Home Minister’s conditional amnesty for Khalistanis to return, the Dal Khalsa said the desire for independence in Sikh Diaspora remains widespread and irrepressible.
The rejection of the governments offer by the radical Sikh group assumes significance as names of several senior leaders of the organization including its mentor Gajinder Singh figure in black list and all of them have taken asylum in various countries including US, Europe, Canada and elsewhere since the heydays of militancy.
Countering the statement of the Home Minister that the Indian government was willing to consider rehabilitation of misguided Sikh youths in case they give up the demand for Khalistan, the party head H S Dhami and spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh minced no words in stating that silence of guns and electoral success of moderate Sikhs like Badal in Punjab does not indicate that Sikh masses have once and for all abandoned the goal of Khalistan.
Showing no sign of any weakness, the leaders took P Chidambaram to task for using the term ‘misguided’ to address those youth who joined Sikh struggle in the wake of the army assault and anti-Sikh massacre in June and Nov 1984. “They were neither misguided nor mindless. They took to arms to combat state excesses as Indian institutions failed to give justice to Sikhs”.
Posing a counter question to home minister, they said can the state deny that in a democracy the fundamental rights of citizens belong to all, including those who stand for a separate Sikh state. Will you transport all those Sikhs from Punjab to foreign land who still desire for khalistan, they asked. Citing numerous judgments of P & H High Court and apex court on this issue, they said striving for Khalistan through democratic means is neither unlawful nor against the law of the land.
They said instead of thinking in terms of rehabilitating the Khalistanis, the Indian government should focus on resolving all vexed issues that gave birth to militancy in the state in early 80’s.
They said the return of Khalistanis has never been a big issue for them. Instead, the core issue was political resolution to the Sikh conflict popularly known as Punjab Problem. If guns in Punjab have fallen silent that doesn’t mean that the Sikhs have stopped believing in the Khalistan ideology, they remarked. However, the irony of the situation was that the arrogant (Indian) state was in a denial mood.
Accusing the Indian government of double standards, they asked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to enter into a dialogue with those Punjab groups that espouse the Sikh goal for independence on the pattern of centre holding talks with NSCN (IM) and Hurriyat Conference to resolve Naga and Kashmir dispute.
“The (Indian) state should shed it anti-Sikh attitude and mindset and allow them (read Khalistanis) to visit their native land and pay obeisance at Darbar Sahib who believes in pursuing non-violent struggle to attain their goal”.
However, they agreed with the views of Akali leadership and MP Tarlochan Singh that such persons should be allowed to return to lead normal lives who had nothing to do with the (Sikh) struggle but had fled the state because of police repression prevalent in the state at that time.
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