Extremism Updates


The Sikh community in Lahore held a protest on September 20 against the Indian government, condemning the killing of Khalistani terrorist and the chief of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in Lahore, Pakistan. Former member of the Punjab Assembly, Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora, claimed to the media that India had a hand in the assassination of the Khalistan leader. The protestors accused Indian intelligence agencies of targeting Sikhs globally and urged the international community to take note of India's alleged acts of terrorism.


The Lahore High Court, on September 16, raised objections to the reopening of the case of Indian independence war hero Bhagat Singh's 1931 sentencing and the consideration of posthumous state awards for him. The objections pertain to the maintainability of the petition and the constitution of a larger bench for an early hearing. The petitioners argue that Bhagat Singh's name was not originally mentioned in the First Information Report (FIR) for the murder for which he was sentenced to death, and they seek to establish his innocence in the case.


Pakistan's Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) has exposed a significant drug-smuggling network operating in India, led by Mazhar Iqbal, the head of Lahore Police's anti-narcotics wing. Iqbal and his network used drones to smuggle drugs from Kasur in the Punjab Province of Pakistan, particularly heroin, into India, specifically Punjab. Despite a history of dismissals and suspensions related to illegal activities, Iqbal held a key position in the anti-narcotics department of Lahore Police. The police investigation revealed that a drone in Mazhar Iqbal's network transported up to 6 kg of drugs across the border to Indian Punjab. The network's exposure came after the arrest of six Indians from Punjab: Gurmeet Singh, Shinder Singh, Juginder Singh, Vishal Jagga, Rattan Pal Singh, and Garvender Singh in Pakistani territory, leading to an investigation into Iqbal's involvement in cross-border drug smuggling, with authorities estimating his amassed wealth to be substantial.


Pakistan's caretaker Religious Affairs Minister, Aneeq Ahmed, on September 7 announced efforts to increase the number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India, as their numbers have declined in recent years due to strained bilateral ties. This announcement was made during his visit to the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Pakistan's caretaker Religious Affairs Minister Aneeq Ahmed on September 7 laid the foundation stone for a Cultural Theme Park near Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab province of Pakistan. The project is aimed at attracting more Sikh pilgrims. The first phase, which includes restaurants, a food street, play areas, and cultural amenities, will be completed in six months, with the entire project expected to take three years.


Pakistan's Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on August 30 claimed to have unearthed a cross-border drug smuggling network allegedly operated by Mazhar Iqbal, the head of Lahore police's anti-narcotics wing, which aimed to smuggle heroin, particularly into India via drones, in Lahore, Pakistan. Iqbal has allegedly amassed significant profits from this illicit activity, and action has been initiated based on statements from recently arrested Indian smugglers. Despite a First Information Report (FIR) being registered against him, Iqbal remains beyond arrest due to pre-arrest bail. A committee of senior police officials has been formed to expand the investigation, which has revealed that Iqbal's network transported over 30 kilograms of heroin from Kasur in the Punjab province of Pakistan to India through drones, with payments received in Dubai.


According to a report, on August 29, a drone along with 10 kilograms of heroin was recovered by Anti-Narcotics Forces (ANF) from a smuggler's vehicle in Lahore, Pakistan. According to sources, the heroin originated from Afghanistan and was meant to be smuggled into India.


The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan Army on August 22 stated that the Pakistan Rangers have arrested six alleged Indian smugglers, identified as Gurmeej, Shinder Singh, Juginder Singh, Vishal, Rattan Pal Singh and Garvender Singh, between July 29 and August 3, for allegedly trying to smuggle “narcotics, weapons and ammunition” into Pakistan. There has been no immediate response from Indian authorities regarding this incident.


Malik Mohd Ahmad Khan, who is the Special Assistant on Defence to Pakistan Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif, admitted in an interview on July 17 that Pakistani smugglers are increasingly using drones to transport drugs across the border to India, corroborating previous allegations. In the interview with journalist Hamid Mir in Kasur city, which borders the Indian Punjab, Khan confirmed the use of drones for smuggling. The admission is significant as Khan holds close ties to Pakistan's political and military establishment. The issue of cross-border drug and arms smuggling through drones has been a persistent concern for India, with recent recoveries indicating a continued problem. Kasur is located near Punjab's Khemkaran and Ferozepur. As per recent data from Punjab Police, Ferozepur district alone witnessed 795 FIRs registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act from July 2022-2023. The majority of drug seizures occurred in the Punjab districts bordering Pakistan.


According to reports, a drone carrying heroin crashed in agricultural fields near Hadiara area of Lahore on July 14. Five packets of heroin suspected to be worth millions of rupees were recovered by the police, both the drone and the heroin were handed over to the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for further investigation.


A drone carrying six kilograms of heroin crashed in the Halloki area of Lahore, Pakistan on July 7. According to Pakistan police, the drone was eventually recovered from Rasoolpura village, which is close to the India-Pakistan border. India’s Border Security Forces (BSF) sources reported increased drone activities near Pakistani border outposts across Ferozepur and Amritsar sectors in Punjab, with Pakistan allegedly utilizing "dummy drones" for smuggling weapons, drugs, and explosives.


According to reports, on June 29, miscreants entered the Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Sukkur, Sindh province of Pakistan, and verbally abused the priests while desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib. The culprits were allegedly released by the police without conducting a proper investigation. This incident raises concerns about the safety of minorities in Pakistan, as recent attacks on Sikhs have sparked alarm.


The Islamic State (IS) group on June 25 claimed responsibility for the killing of a Sikh man Manmohan Singh, who was shot and killed on June 24 in a targeted attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, stating that Singh belonged to a "polytheistic" Sikh sect.


A Sikh shopkeeper named Manmohan Singh was shot dead on June 24, in Rashidgarhi Bazaar in Peshawar in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan by unidentified gunmen. The locals believe it to be a targeted attack, marking the second incident in two days. On June 23, another Sikh shopkeeper, Tarlok Singh, was shot but survived.


On June 21, over 400 Indian Sikh pilgrims have arrived Pakistan to participate in the death anniversary congregation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.


Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on June 19 issued 473 visas to Sikh pilgrims to attend the annual death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, scheduled to be held in Pakistan from June 21-30.


Pakistan on June 6 issued 215 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India who intended to partake in an annual festival scheduled to occur on the eve of Guru Arjan Dev's martyrdom day.


According to reports, Sikh women in Pakistan continue to face persecution, marginalization, and violence, contrasting with the progress made by their counterparts in India. Despite constitutional guarantees of women's rights in India, including education and work, Sikh women in Pakistan experience systemic discrimination and are denied essential human rights. They face obstacles such as limited access to education, healthcare, and decision-making, as well as forced marriages and honour killings.


Anti-Khalistani and social groups accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of eliminating non-profitable Indian fugitives and replacing them with younger leaders in a bid to revive Khalistani separatism. The killing of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar is seen as a result of this policy shift. The new face of Khalistan is 30-year-old Amritpal Singh, while three other Khalistani leaders, Lakhbir Singh Rode, Wadhawa Singh, and Gajinder Singh, who were living under the ISI's protection, have now increased their personal security fearing they could be targeted. Social groups are protesting outside the Pakistan Embassy on May 12.


According to report, retired Pakistani military officers, Major Adil Raja and Colonel Akbar Hussain, alleged that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operates a smuggling network involving high-ranking army officers that fuels the Khalistan movement and narco-terrorism. The report claims that the ISI exploited Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar to operate drug cartels and target Punjab's youth. The ISI allegedly raised funds under the guise of black operations and utilised them to finance smuggling and contraband networks. The report also alleges that the Pakistani army used actresses as honey traps.


The funeral of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar was held in Lahore in Pakistan. Meanwhile, several Sikh organizations in Punjab and overseas planned to hold prayers for him on May 15.


According to reports, Pakistan has been reluctant to grant visas to slain Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar's sons, settled in Germany, to attend their father's last rites. The Pakistani media has reported his death as a routine killing of a Sikh. Panjwar was involved in drug and weapons smuggling and accused of various crimes, including killing 18 students in Patiala. The killing is the latest instance of terror kingpins being targeted outside India.


The wanted Khalistani terrorist and the chief of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), Paramjit Singh Panjwar, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Lahore in Pakistan on May 6. According to sources, Panjwar was gunned down in the morning by two motorcycle-borne men near his residence in Lahore. He was involved in drug and weapons smuggling and was designated as a terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in July 2020. Panjwar, who was the chief of the separatist group Khalistan Commando Force (KCF-Panjwar group), was accused by the Indian government of various illegal activities including arranging arms training, promoting drug trade, smuggling fake Indian currency notes, inciting minorities against the government, and attempting to reactivate former militants, sleeper cells, and those on bail to form a nexus with other forces hostile to India. The KCF was listed as a terrorist organization under the UAPA.


According to reports, the killing of Paramjit Singh Panjwar alias Sardar Singh Malik, the longest serving head of the banned terrorist organisation Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) could have been a result of inter-gang rivalry or a dispute with other terrorist organizations. Panjwar is the second notorious terrorist killed recently in Pakistan. Earlier in January 2020, Harmeet Singh alias Happy PhD, who headed the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) was also killed.


According to reports, religious minorities in Pakistan are facing targeted attacks and persecution, with hardly a day passing without an attack. Law enforcement agencies have failed to apprehend the perpetrators of these murders, leaving minorities feeling frustrated and helpless. Pakistan has been designated a "country of particular concern" under the Religious Freedom Act for its flagrant violations, and local law enforcement has failed to protect religious minorities and individuals accused of blasphemy.


During the Baisakhi occasion at Sri Panja Sahib near Rawalpindi, Gopal Singh Chawla, a pro-Khalistan leader based in Pakistan, addressed Indian Sikhs and encouraged them to demand Khalistan. He reportedly compelled the audience to chant "Khalistan Zindabad" and stated that despite being a part of the Shiromani Committee and Delhi Committee, they were still Sikhs and could not openly raise their voices. He expressed a desire for their own country and declared that anyone who is a Guru's Sikh would support his call for ‘Khalistan Zindabad.’


Reports indicate that Khalistani accounts and websites based in Pakistan are spreading false information about the Indian Army in relation to the firing incident at Bathinda military station.


According to reports, Pakistan has commenced a campaign to promote abandoned sacred sites of Sikh and Hindu heritage by renovating them, with the goal of drawing in pilgrims from India and other nations. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) stated that it has devised a comprehensive strategy to refurbish, maintain, and preserve the Sikh and Hindu religious sites located within Pakistan. As part of this initiative, the ETPB has initiated restoration work at the Prahladpuri Temple, which is situated in the city of Multan in the Punjab province.


The Pakistani government has permitted the publication of religious books for students from Sikh and Christian minority communities under the supervision of the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (PMTA). Anjum James Paul, the chairman of (PMTA), said that it will help minority students to learn about their religion in schools. However, minority groups, including Hindus, Buddhists, Parsees, Kalash, and Baha’is, are still not permitted to print their religious textbooks in Pakistan.


According to a Pakistan government notification released on March 1, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora as the Ambassador-at-Large for Kartarpur Corridor as part of efforts to draw Sikh pilgrims from all over the world.


The Pakistani media on February 24 highlighted how supporters of pro-Khalistan Sikh leader Amritpal Singh 'staged a large demonstration in Amritsar on February 23 and put the Indian Punjab Police on the back foot'. Also, it mentioned, "the demand for Khalistan by Sikhs in Indian Punjab is gathering pace."


According to reports in Pakistan, the gold-plated kalash that used to rest atop the dome of the Palki Sahib (palanquin) installed at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartapur Sahib, in Pakistan, has gone missing, leading to suspicion that it had been stolen from the Sikh shrine.


Pakistan government has appointed a senior officer of its intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Project Management Unit (PMU) that manages the affairs of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on the Pakistan side of Kartarpur Corridor. According to highly placed sources, the Deputy Secretary (Administration), Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) had on January 11 issued a notification number 212 for the appointment of Muhammad Abu Bakar Aftab Qureshi, Deputy Director General, Directorate General ISI as CEO, PMU, Kartapur Sahib for a period of three years. The appointment of an ISI officer as well as a non-Sikh as head of PMU is being criticized by the international Sikh community who are of the view that a non-Sikh couldn’t take ‘correct’ decisions with regards to the religious affairs of Sikhs besides being an official of ISI, he could use the platform of PMU to further anti-India agenda.


According to reports, Pakistan issued visas to nearly 3,000 Indian pilgrims under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974 to participate in celebrations in several cities in the bordering nation on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak from November 6-15.


According to intelligence sources, pro-Khalistan terrorist groups have infiltrated gurudwaras in Pakistan’s Lahore under a “new game plan” by Pakistan in a bid to promote extremism in the Indian Sikh community against Hindus and the Indian government. The intelligence inputs said that the alleged hijacker of the Srinagar-Lahore flight in 1984 was seen meeting Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh in Panja Sahib Gurdwara in Lahore. Pakistan’s game plan as such is to keep Khalistani extremists in gurudwaras in Lahore so that they can “radicalize” Sikh devotees, sources said. Intelligence sources further said the alleged flight hijacker Ravinder Singh Pinka and his associates were meeting Sikh devotees from India, who have gone to Pakistan to observe the 100th anniversary of Saka Panja Sahib. Pinka deliberately clicked a photo with Giani Harpreet Singh. Later, however, when officials of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) were informed about Pinka, the video was immediately taken down from the SGPC website. Sources also said the Jathedar belonged to the entire community and nobody was prohibited from meeting him, and that Giani Harpreet Singh might not even know or recognize Pinka.


The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has strongly condemned the murders and said in a statement that, "This is not the first time that the Sikh community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, (KP) has been targeted and we demand that the KP police identify and arrest the perpetrators promptly." The brutal incident took place on May 15, in which two Sikh traders--Kuljeet and Ranjit Singh got killed on the outskirts of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. This was the 'twelfth' such incident since 2014 when Sikhs were targeted by extremists in KP province alone.


According to Pakistani media report, a life-size statue of the first ruler of the Sikh Empire Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been restored and is soon expected to be reinstalled at a safer place at Lahore Fort, months after it was last vandalised by an activist of a banned Islamist party.


In a bid to facilitate a number of Sikh pilgrims arriving in Lahore from India via Wagah, the Pakistan Railways (PR) has decided to run nine special trains. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) said that as many as 2,500 Sikh pilgrims will enter Pakistan on foot via the Wagah border to attend the Vaisakhi festival. Some pilgrims will also reach Pakistan from the UK and Canada too. At Wagah, the ETPB officers and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) office bearers will welcome the pilgrims.


The Pakistan High Commission has issued over 2,200 visas to Sikh pilgrims for Baisakhi on April 14.


According to reports, Pakistani authorities have set up a joint committee to decide on the handing over of an over 100-year-old gurudwara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) for its restoration and proper preservation. Officials said that the team constituted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would visit Sri Guru Singh Sabha gurudwara in Mansehra district before finalising its report and submitting it to the authorities.


The Sikh community around the world condemned Pakistan for removing the statue of great Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa in Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.


According to sources, the Pakistan government has taken various measures to motivate the devotees from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Corridor, in large numbers even as the Project Management Unit (PMU), an exclusive department created under Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) for the management of Kartarpur Corridor is striving hard given the sinking economy of Pakistan.


In a video, Sikh For Justice (SFJ)'s chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that the group has written to Imran Khan to support the Khalistan Referendum. In this video, Pannun is openly reaching out to Khan and has urged the Pakistani government to "diplomatically intervene" to support the Khalistan Referendum. In addition, he said, "SFJ has written a letter to Imran Khan and the message is to the people of Pakistan. Fall of Dhaka is past and we're asking PM Imran Khan to diplomatically intervene and support the Khalistan referendum. It will lead to fall of Delhi. Indira Gandhi had supported the Bangladesh war and Bangladesh was lost. It’s time for a payback in the same way. Khalistan Referendum will liberate Punjab from the Indian occupation." "Now is the time that India should be balkanized into small parts. You are raising the issue of Kashmir and its time to support Khalistan Referendum and Sikhs. Join hands with us and we're seeking diplomatic intervention," Pannun goes on to say in the video.


According to reports, the Pakistani media is now openly backing the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). An article in Radio Pakistan, published on January 12, has claimed that "India has launched a massive propaganda to malign the Sikhs for Justice". It further states that India is trying to get the SFJ banned in the United States. It added that India has also arrested Jaswinder Singh Multani, a member of the SFJ for his involvement in the recent Ludhiana court blast. The editorial claims that the United States administration has refused to accept India's attempts "of labeling the Khalistan movement as terrorism". Moreover, it also claims that other countries like United Kingdom, United States and Canada continued to allow SFJ and its referendum activities as an "expression of political opinion under the freedom of expression".


Pakistan, citing the covid-19 pandemic, denied permission to a Sikh jatha (group of pilgrims) that was scheduled to visit it via the Attari-Wagah border on June 21. The jatha was to stay in Pakistan for 10 days and was to commemorate the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore on June 29, besides visiting Sikh religious places.


The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur wrote a letter to the Pakistan government and urged to repair Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib built in the memory of Sri Guru Nanak Dev situated in Chakk Fateh Bhinder village in Daska tehsil of Sialkot district in Punjab provinces of Pakistan. The SGPC president has urged the Pakistan government to pay special attention towards the maintenance of Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib in Sialkot district, by getting the shrine repaired immediately. "If the Pakistan government has any difficulty in the Sikh shrine, then the service of this shrine should be handed over to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar. The SGPC is ready to do Sewa (voluntary service) of this place," she said.


According to reports, Sikhs in Pakistan took out an anti-India rally in Nankana Sahib to condemn the attack on the Golden Temple by Indian forces in June 1984. Sources said that rally participants held placards and banners with anti-India slogans. The protesters led by pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla demanded of the United Nations to take action against Indian culprits involved in the massacre of Sikhs in 1984.


The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) said that Pakistan government, citing the second wave of Covid-19, has denied permission to a group of Sikh pilgrims from India who wanted to visit the historic Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore to mark the martyrdom day Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru.


A Hindu lawmaker, Keeso Mal Kheeal Das, a member of the National Assembly, submitted a bill in the lower house of Pakistan Parliament which intends to refer religious minorities as ‘non-Muslims’. Called as the Constitution Amendment Act, 2021, the bill aims to end discrimination against Pakistani non-Muslims who have been also referred in the constitution as minorities. He suggested that the bill should be adopted and brought into effect immediately. The government has not opposed the bill so far and the matter has been referred to the relevant standing committee. After it is vetted by a bipartisan committee of the house, it will be presented for voting.


Pakistan-based Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla admitted that a Gurdwara granthi, Ranjit Singh, sending out the voice message which warned members of the Pakistani Sikh community, but he said the motive was different. In a video message uploaded on social media, Chawla, whose handlers are with ISI, said Sikhs of Pakistan always took guidance from gurdwara granthis. “The message was indeed from granthi Ranjit Singh, but he wanted to convey something else,” Chawla said. Instead, Chawla claimed, the granthi was giving a message to Sikh youth to not loiter around late in the night and reach home on time. He also pointed to deteriorating Sikh religious values and practices in Pakistan, as he claimed that Sikh youth of Pakistan had gone astray from the path of Sikhism.

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Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a Member of Parliament (MP) from the United Kingdom (UK) Labour Party on September 19 mentioned that he had been contacted by many anxious, angry, and fearful Sikhs following the sharp escalation of the India-Canada diplomatic ties due to allegations levelled against India by Canadian Prime minister (PM) Justin Trudeau.


Charanjeet Kaur, the mother of Avtar Singh Khanda, the slain Khalistani terrorist and chief of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) in London, has refused to accept the explanation of his death from acute myeloid Leukemia and a blood clot, claiming he was poisoned. However, West Midlands Police stated that after conducting a comprehensive review in response to such speculations, they concluded that there were no suspicious circumstances related to Khanda’s death.


A spokesperson from the United Kingdom (UK) government stated that they are maintaining close communication with their Canadian counterparts regarding the serious allegations. They mentioned that it would not be suitable to provide further comments while the Canadian authorities are still conducting their investigation. Additionally, a spokesperson for Rishi Sunak informed Reuters that Trudeau's remarks have not disrupted the India-UK trade talks.


A Sikh man identified as Jaswant Singh Chail, who had informed guards at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day 2021 that he intended to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II, apologized to King Charles III and the royal family on September 15 at the Old Bailey court in London, United Kingdom (UK). Chail, who claimed revenge for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar as his motive, cited embarrassment and shame for his actions.


According to reports, approximately 15,000 Sikhs are expected to attend a three-day convention that commenced on September 15 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sikh Federation United Kingdom (UK) in Smethwick, West Midlands, UK. The convention will cover topics including preparations for the next General Election, the arrest and detention of Khalistani terrorist Jagtar Singh Johal in India, and Sikh hate crimes in the UK. The Sikh Federation UK anticipates an increase in the number of Sikh Members of Parliament (MPs), especially within a potential Labour Government, and criticizes the Conservative party's handling of issues related to Sikhs and democratic rights.


United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak confirmed that he had raised the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, a UK-based individual currently held in Delhi’s Tihar jail on terrorism charges, with Indian PM Narendra Modi during the G20 summit held in New Delhi. Gurpreet Johal, Jagtar's older brother, expressed scepticism toward the UK government's actions, believing they are all talk and no action. He insists that more decisive steps, such as calling for his release, are necessary. Gurpreet believes the UK government's hesitancy to take firmer action could be linked to its pursuit of a long-delayed Brexit promise: securing a free trade agreement (FTA) with India.


Lord Ahmad, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Minister for Asia, on September 8, communicated the UK government's decision through a letter to not call for the release of British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal, who is being held on terrorism charges at Tihar jail in New Delhi. In the letter addressed to Johal's Member of Parliament (MP), Martin Docherty-Hughes, Lord Ahmad cited concerns that such a call might be perceived as interference in the Indian judicial process and could impede consular assistance. Earlier, over 70 MPs had urged British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to request Johal's release during his visit to Delhi for the G20 summit.


United Kingdom Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak on September 6 assured India that the UK condemns all forms of extremism and is committed to countering pro-Khalistan activities. In an email interview with PTI, he emphasized the importance of lawful protests without violence. This reassurance comes ahead of Sunak's visit to India for the G20 summit, with the aim of strengthening India-UK ties despite concerns over the Khalistan issue.


Over 70 Members of Parliament (MPs) from various United Kingdom (UK) political parties, on September 6, penned a letter calling on Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak to advocate for the immediate release of British Sikh detainee Jagtar Singh Johal during his visit to India for the G20 summit. Johal has been imprisoned in India for over five years on connections to the banned terrorist organization Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and is currently held in Tihar Jail in Delhi.


According to reports, on September 4, Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the United Kingdom (UK) opposition Labour Party, demoted Indian-origin shadow minister Preet Kaur Gill among others, reportedly over concerns regarding her alleged links to pro-Khalistani extremists. Gill's association with the Khalistan movement, connections to the Smethwick Gurudwara, which is dedicated to Khalistani terrorists and the terror group Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), as well as her support for banned groups like the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), stirred controversy. Furthermore, she faced criticism for a controversial tweet and photographs with pro-Khalistani activists, ultimately leading to her removal from her position.


The United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Local Government and Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, Lee Rowley, on September 4 responded to a question from UK Member of Parliament (MP) Navendu Mishra, stating that anti-Hindu hatred is abhorrent and has no place in UK communities.


A man of Punjabi origin, Sundeep Singh Rai, and his accomplice, Billy Hayre, on August 25 were sentenced to 12 years in prison each for conspiring to smuggle banned drugs into the United Kingdom (UK) at Wolverhampton Crown Court in Wolverhampton, UK. They were part of an organized crime group that attempted to bring 30 kilograms of cocaine and 30 kilograms of amphetamine from Mexico to the UK via a cargo plane. The National Crime Agency (NCA) led the investigation, which resulted in their arrests and convictions. The NCA emphasized its commitment to disrupting the supply.


According to reports, the death of Avtar Singh Khanda, the United Kingdom (UK)-based chief of the Khalistani militant outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), has sparked conspiracy theories of foul play. However, UK authorities have confirmed that his death resulted from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) with no suspicious elements involved. Khalistani separatists are propagating these conspiracy theories to fuel division and recruit followers. It is crucial to debunk misinformation and guard against the manipulation of facts for political agendas.


The Metropolitan Police on August 17 confirmed that Gurpreet Singh, an Indian Sikh man, has been charged with stabbing two men and possessing a knife in connection to an altercation that took place on August 15 between pro-Khalistan activists and a group of Indian-origin men waving the Indian tricolour on Southall Broadway in West London, United Kingdom (UK). Singh has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on September 14. Another man, who was also arrested in connection with this case, was later released on police bail pending further inquiries.


Two Indian men were injured in a violent clash that erupted between a group of Indian men commemorating India’s Independence Day and a small assembly of around five British Sikhs advocating for Khalistan in West London, United Kingdom (UK) on August 15.


A violent clash erupted on August 15 between hundreds of Indians celebrating Independence Day and a group of around five pro-Khalistan British Sikhs outside Southall in West London, United Kingdom (UK). The Indian men were raising slogans in support of India, while the Khalistan supporters declined to participate and were carrying Khalistan flags.


The chief of the banned Khalistani terror outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, claimed in a video released on August 14 to have raised £250,000 (INR 2.6 crore) for a Khalistan Referendum vote in Scotland in 2024. This claim comes in response to the Indian government's crackdown on Sikh Khalistani activists in the United Kingdom (UK). This development follows UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat's visit to India, during which he announced a recent allocation of £95,000 (INR 1 crore) to enhance the UK's capacity to combat pro-Khalistan extremism.


The funeral of Avtar Singh Khanda, the United Kingdom (UK) based chief of the Khalistani militant outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), took place in Smethwick, West Midlands, UK on August 12. The event was attended by approximately 1,000 people who were dressed in orange attire, carried Khalistan flags, and chanted pro-Khalistani slogans. The funeral procession featured a white carriage bearing Khanda's coffin. On top of the carriage, white wreaths were arranged to spell out "Khalistan" on one side and "Zindabaad" on the other, with two yellow "Khalistan flags" attached. His immediate family, including his mother Charanjit Kaur and sister Jaspreet Kaur from Punjab, were denied UK visas and thus watched the funeral via livestream.


United Kingdom (UK) based chief of Khalistani militant outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), Avtar Singh Khanda's funeral will be held at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick in West Midlands in the UK on August 12. Khanda passed away on June 15, 2023 in Birmingham, UK.


The Sikh Federation in United Kingdom (UK) on August 2 accused the Indian investigation agency National Investigation Agency (NIA) of intimidating and targeting relatives of prominent pro-Khalistan leaders living abroad, including British Sikhs after the NIA raided homes of Khalistani leaders linked to Khalsa Aid, Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO ) and Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) among others, in an attempt to uncover the conspiracy behind the attack on the Indian High Commission in London, UK.


Sikh Press Association on July 31 announced that the funeral Avtar Singh Khanda, the United Kingdom (UK) based head of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), will take place at Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick in Sandwell, UK on August 5. Khanda's family in India, including his mother Charanjit Kaur and sister Jaspreet Kaur from Moga, Punjab, were unable to repatriate his body to Punjab, and denied visas to travel to the UK for his last rites.


West Midlands police on July 25 confirmed that they are not investigating the death of Avtar Singh Khanda, the United Kingdom (UK) based head of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), as it was not deemed suspicious. Khanda passed away at Birmingham City Hospital, UK on June 15 due to terminal blood cancer. Pro-Khalistan groups had speculated that he was deliberately poisoned, but the hospital confirmed otherwise.


An investigation by the British tabloid The Daily Mail on July 24 revealed that some United Kingdom (UK) lawyers are allegedly ‘coaching’ illegal Indian migrants to fake asylum claims by pretending to be persecuted Khalistanis. The undercover investigation exposed 40 law firms involved in this activity. Several lawyers suggested false narratives of farmers' protests held in India in 2021, Khalistan separatist protests led by Amritpal Singh, and threats from Indian security forces. Meanwhile, in response to the investigation, UK Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak vowed on July 25 to tackle illegal immigration and secure deals with France and Albania for better border control.


India has approved a 'limited diplomatic immunity waiver' for its diplomats in the United Kingdom (UK) concerning the investigation into the pro-Khalistan attack on the Indian mission on March 19. The waiver will apply during the trial stage. Earlier, the London Police requested the immunity waiver for witnesses and complainants at the Indian mission. Indian missions in the United States (US), Canada, and Australia have also faced attacks by pro-Khalistan supporters. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the London attack and has released images of suspects involved in vandalizing the high commission. The Indian government is working with key countries to counter Sikh radicals' network in various Western capitals.


The pro-Khalistan protest outside the Indian High Commission in London, United Kingdom (UK) on July 8 concluded with a low number of participants. A modest gathering of 30-40 individuals supporting Khalistan was witnessed between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm local time on July 8. The security in the area was beefed up with the UK police calling in additional forces to the spot. The demonstration, organized in response to the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada, lasted for a shorter duration than planned. Protesters displayed banners blaming India's High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami and Consul General in Birmingham, Shashank Vikram for Nijjar's death, along with posters expressing support for Pakistan.


James Cleverly, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom (UK), on July 6 expressed the UK government's strong disapproval of any direct assaults on the High Commission of India in London, stating that such actions would be deemed entirely unacceptable. He also stated that the UK government has communicated to the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami and the Government of India that ensuring the safety of staff at the High Commission is of utmost importance.


On July 5, a number of anonymous Twitter accounts surfaced, sharing posters created by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which were promoting a "Kill India" rally in London, United Kingdom (UK) on July 8. The posters falsely implicated two Indian diplomats, Vikram Kumar Doraiswami, the High Commissioner of India to the UK, and Dr. Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India in Birmingham, UK, in the alleged assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani terrorist and the leader of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). Additionally, one of the tweets included a video by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the chief of SFJ, accusing Indian diplomats worldwide of being accountable for Nijjar's murder.


According to Pakistani sources, on June 16, a day after the death of Khalistani separatist Avtar Singh Khanda, the Sikh community in the United Kingdom (UK) demands a full investigation into his death. Khanda was admitted to a Birmingham hospital after complaining of uneasiness and the cause of his death is unclear. Khalsa Aid International's CEO, Ravinder Singh, has urged the UK Police to conduct a thorough investigation and produce a coroner's report regarding the death Khanda. He also said that Khanda's family has also requested a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death. The Sikh community doubts the circumstances surrounding his death and requests a probe to ensure it is not politically motivated. Speculation about poisoning has emerged, but facts are yet to be confirmed.


Avatar Singh Khanda alias Ranjodh Singh, a close associate of Amritpal Singh and the head of the London unit of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), died at the Sandwell Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom (UK) on June 15. The cause of his death is yet to be determined but most likely to be blood cancer. Some reports also indicate food poisoning as the cause of his death. Kanda was booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the attack on the India High Commission in London and was the mastermind behind the lowering the Indian tricolour at the Indian High Commission in London on March 19, 2023. He had allegedly assisted Amritpal Singh, the leader of Waris Punjab De (WPD) evade arrest, while he was on the run from the Punjab Police. Khanda was also a close aide of Paramjit Singh Pamma, who is associated with Babbar Khalsa international (BKI). Besides Pamma, he was also working closely with Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) militant Hardeep Singh Nijjar, and Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, in spearheading the secessionist campaign ‘Referendum 2020’. Khanda, is known for his expertise in bomb-making and had a history of involvement with pro-Khalistan activities. He was involved in radicalizing youth, orchestrating the Red Fort violence in 2021 with Deep Sidhu during the farmers' protest.


Meanwhile, the separatist groups, the Sikh Council UK, Dal Khalsa, the Sikh Federation, and Khalsa Aid collectively urged the United Kingdom (UK) government to conduct a thorough investigation into the tragic demise of Avtar Singh Khanda. Expressing shock and surprise, they highlighted his good health during the '1984 remembrance rally' at Trafalgar Square on June 4.


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on June 12, released CCTV footage of the incident at the Indian High Commission in London, United Kingdom (UK) where the Tricolour Flag was pulled down on March 19, 2023. The footage shows protesters waving Khalistani flags and attempting to vandalize the high commission. British police intervened to prevent further access to the building, while the protesters shouted slogans and abused Indian officials. The NIA has appealed to the public for information on the individuals involved.


According to reports, Avatar Singh Khanda, close associate of Amritpal Singh and the head of the London unit of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), was admitted to Birmingham hospital, United Kingdom (UK) after he complained of uneasiness. He is said to be on life support. Khanda, known for his expertise in bomb-making, was the main accused in the vandalism that happened outside the premises of the Indian High Commission in London in March and was allegedly involved in helping Khalistan supporter Amritpal Singh evade arrest by the Punjab Police.


According to reports, the National Investigation Agency (NIA)'s London visit focuses on Avtar Singh Khanda, a key figure in a pro-Khalistan conspiracy. The investigation aims to uncover a larger transnational plot by pro-Khalistan groups to destabilize Punjab and create unrest in India. Khanda, an asylum seeker in the United Kingdom (UK), is suspected of radicalizing and supporting individuals like Amritpal Singh, who is currently detained under the National Security Act. The NIA hopes to gather evidence linking Khanda to the violent acts in the UK and shed light on his connections to banned Khalistani outfits.


Punjab-origin woman Mandeep Kaur, residing in north London, has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison by a United Kingdom (UK) court for her involvement in a large-scale drug supply conspiracy. Following a two-week trial, Kaur was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to possess criminal property.


According to reports, the British government has not yet located or charged those responsible for the assault on the Indian High Commission in London over two months ago. Around 50 individuals, chanting pro-Khalistan slogans, stormed the building, damaging property and removing the Indian Tricolour on March 19. Despite Indian agencies providing information on seven individuals involved, including known Khalistani activists, no arrests have been made. The delay in action has raised suspicions of intentional inaction, while the Indian government has stationed security guards outside the high commission as a precautionary measure.


An Indian-origin man among members of a drug smuggling gang was convicted for conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland on May 19. Joshpal Singh Kothiria, a driver from Wolverhampton, played a role in supplying the smuggled drugs to Ireland. The operation was busted by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK.


The International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) has published a report on the Khalistan movement, highlighting its threat to Indian sovereignty, Western countries, and the principles of Sikhism. The report identifies certain organizations as the key propagators of Khalistan ideology, engaging in real-world disruptions and exploiting liberal laws to spread their narrative. The Khalistan movement has been compared to the Muslim Brotherhood in its demand for a state based on a narrowly defined religious doctrine and disregard for democratic principles. The movement is fuelled by funds from Pakistani intelligence and Khalistani sympathizers in the West, posing a serious security concern. The IFFRAS report calls for unified international action to counter extremist narratives and promote a global community that respects territorial sovereignty and religious tolerance.


Sixteen people, including several of Indian-origin, have been convicted following an investigation into an organised crime group involved in international money laundering and people smuggling in west London in United Kingdom (UK). The group is believed to have smuggled over GBP 42 million in cash out of the UK between 2017 and 2019, with the money believed to have come from the sale of banned drugs and organised immigration crime. The group made hundreds of trips to Dubai during this time.


A report by Colin Bloom, an Independent Faith Engagement Advisor, reveals that pro-Khalistani activities across the globe are being fuelled by a small group of terrorists and extremists, aided and funded by Pakistan. The Khalistani movement uses the freedom provided in Western nations, especially the United Kingdom (UK), to spread hate and extremism and to coerce moderate Sikhs to support their ideology. The majority of Sikhs and Indians living abroad do not support extremism and the call for a separate Khalistan. The Khalistanis use gurdwaras to spread their messages of hate and extremism and to collect funding for their operations.


Lord Indarjit Singh, a British Sikh peer, will present King Charles with the Coronation Glove, which symbolizes the Sovereign's role as an advocate and challenger for the protection and honour of the people, during the coronation ceremony. Lord Singh will join other faith leaders in the procession and gift presentation.


A Sikh restaurant owner in London, United Kingdom (UK), Harman Singh Kapoor, received threats to his life after posting a video on TikTok against Khalistan movement. Reports indicate that his restaurant was targeted by supporters of Khalistan and he and his family have been repeatedly harassed and intimidated on social media, including receiving death threats. Harman said that his wife and his daughter received rape threats. Despite reporting the incidents to the authorities, Harman and his family continue to experience a sense of insecurity. Harman has accused the police of stating that they can only intervene if physical harm or loss of life occurs.


The Sikh Group, a UK-based organization, released 'The Sikhs 100' list of influential Sikhs from around the world in various fields. Takht Hazur Sahib Jathedar Giani Kulwant Singh retained the top position, followed by Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh. Chief Minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Harjinder Singh Dhami feature at the third and fourth spot, respectively. Other notable names on the list include former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Union Minister Hardeep Puri, and actor Diljit Dosanjh.


The United Kingdom (UK) government-commissioned "Bloom Review" report on how the government should engage with faith groups in England has sparked backlash from British Sikhs and Hindus. The report's chapter on "faith-based extremism" included Sikh extremism and Hindu nationalism alongside Islamist extremism, white supremacy, black nationalism and Buddhist nationalism. The report calls for a more comprehensive understanding of subversive and sectarian Sikh extremist activity in the UK.


According to a report titled “Does government do God” by the United Kingdom (UK) government, Khalistani groups are proliferating in the UK. The report states that Khalistani groups are found often masquerading as human right groups to avoid public scrutiny. The report further indicates that these groups are getting support from some political figures within the parliament. People interviewed for the report stated that they ‘live in fear’ if they disagree with the ideology of these activists. Additionally, the report includes a recorded testimony of a witness who stated that these groups were trying to brainwash the youth to create divisions and promote hatred in India.


An Indian-origin crime gang leader, Raj Singh alias Rajinder Singh Bassi was sentenced to eight years and ten months in prison by a British court after admitting to drug smuggling, money laundering, and assault charges. The United Kingdom (UK)'s National Crime Agency (NCA) proved that Singh ran an organised crime group with Waqas Iqbal and regularly dealt in Class A drugs and firearms. Singh also assaulted a police officer. Iqbal was sentenced to 12 years in prison after admitting to similar charges. The duo were intercepted through their communications on the platform EncroChat by the NCA.


According to report, no one showed up for a protest called by Khalistani extremists outside the Indian High Commission office in London on April 29. The protest was against the use of the term "Sikh extremism" in a report submitted by Colin Bloom, an independent faith engagement adviser. Bloom's report emphasized the need for the United Kingdom (UK) government to define and tackle harmful extremism, highlighting the negative effect extremist groups create on Sikh communities. Despite the call for protests on social media, none turned up.


Colin Bloom, a faith advisor in the United Kingdom (UK), expressed that the Sikh community in the UK is composed of individuals who are generally kind, hardworking, and generous, describing them as beautiful people. However, he also pointed out that there is a small but vocal minority among them who are involved in pro-Pakistan extremism, and are disproportionately aggressive and threatening. Bloom sees the rise of pro-Khalistan extremism as a significant challenge that the British government needs to address and crack down on. He believes that this small extreme minority is letting down the larger Sikh community. Earlier on April 26, the UK government released a report called "Does Government 'do God'?: An independent review into how government engages with faith", authored by Colin Bloom. The report includes a section that focuses on the concerns of some members of the British Sikh community, who have expressed their worry about a small yet highly vocal group that they feel is attempting to co-opt the Sikh faith to advance a subversive pro-Khalistan agenda.


Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson commissioned an independent report known as the Bloom Review, which has brought attention to a "small, extremely vocal, and aggressive minority of British Sikhs who can be described as pro-Khalistan extremists." The report analyzes the government's engagement with faith groups in England and calls for a more nuanced understanding of "subversive and sectarian activity" within the Sikh community. The report cautions against certain pro-Khalistan Sikh groups that seek to amplify their influence by lobbying political bodies under the guise of human rights activism, thereby presenting a false image of legitimacy. Additionally, it highlights the use of various aliases by some groups to "subvert the British political order," a tactic historically employed by white supremacist and Islamist terrorist groups. According to the report, the subversive, sectarian, and discriminatory activities of these groups are not representative of the majority of British Sikh communities. However, it recognizes that such activities have negatively impacted these communities, underscoring the need for the government to take measures to address and define such harmful extremism.


Chris Blackburn, a British political analyst, expressed concern about Dal Khalsa, an organization that is promoting the Khalistan movement and its supporters across Europe. He tweeted, “Dal Khalsa is doing a lot of heavy lifting for the Khalistan movement in Europe. It’s a blatant lie to say they aren’t instrumental to the leadership of the movement. Their open ties to #Pakistan and their radicalism are the issues. Would you agree?” He also shared images of Dal Khalsa events featuring Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the leader of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), who has been observed campaigning with members of Dal Khalsa for the referendum on several occasions.


In an open letter addressed to United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, 230 Sikh organizations based in the UK have voiced their concerns, as stated by a spokesperson for the Sikh Federation (UK). The organizations have expressed worry over Sunak's recent actions and described them as troubling, given what they perceive as a trend of suspicion towards the British Sikh community by the UK government, allegedly under pressure from the Indian government.

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