Chandigarh: Terming the blacklist of Sikhs as nothing but a tool for witch-hunting of abroad Sikhs in the hands of India’s security establishment, the Dal Khalsa in an open letter to chief minister of Punjab raised vital questions and explained the background and complexities of the issue.
In the wake of Captain Amarinder Singh taking up the issue afresh with Home Minister for doing away the list, party spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said for Sikhs, the question is not of deleting few names or scrapping of the unlawful list. The basic question is will India allow the so-called blacklisted person to visit their native land and Darbar Sahib and return back without compromising on his or her ethics and principles, he said and further added that he has serious doubts over it.
Full text of the letter:
Captain (Rtd) Amarinder Singh
Chief Minister of Punjab
Dear Amarinder Singh :
This letter is about your meeting with India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh few days back in which you had appealed to him to do away with the Blacklist of Sikhs. It is made to understand that the list contains names of those abroad settled Sikhs who are actively pursuing the campaign for right to self-determination and police atrocities on Sikhs in Punjab.
On the face of it, your move sounds fair but the timing has raised eyebrows. There are reasons to believe that it’s a cover up after your Harjit Singh Sajjan fiasco. With your uncalled-for statement about Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan you have not only annoyed Canadian Sikhs but also a large section of Punjabi Sikhs too.
You publicly claimed that your refusal to meet the Canadian Sikh Minister was because of his sepratist leanings. On the other hand, you had sought the deletion of the names from the blacklist, who in the eyes of Government of India have secessionist leanings. Clearly, it shows your double standards.
Your predecessor Parkash Singh Badal too raked up the issue whenever he felt cornered on Panthic fronts and sometimes to play to the gallery. To score brownie points there was chest thumping by Badals when the Union government pruned the list in April last year.
The release of Sikhs detainees, scrapping of the Black list and punishing the perpetrators of Nov 1984 genocide and rights abuses are some of the emotive issues that are very much alive in the collective minds of the Sikh Nation. All these issues are interlinked and directly relate to the Sikh struggle for self-determination.
There’s much to learn and do beyond rhetoric. You may have doubts but going by my experience in the struggle I am pretty clear that under the garb of “protecting” national interest and fighting militancy, Indian intelligence agencies misguided the political leadership and painted the image of the Sikhs in poor light. The list is nothing but a tool for witch-hunting of abroad Sikhs in the hands of India’s security establishment.
You need to read the book “THE KAOBOYS OF R&AW” written by intelligence official B Raman to understand the working style and mindset of intelligence agencies vis-à-vis the Sikh militancy.
The former additional secretary of the R&AW has revealed as to how the lists of suspected Sikhs were prepared. He has cited many occasions when they had to face an embarrassing situation before the foreign government officials as the names included in the so-called suspected list were either fake or included on flimsy grounds. He wrote that “many names were included in the list on the basis of single-source reports. It became bulky with hundreds of names”.
You seem to be a straight forward person, known for bold actions. If you are serious in helping those persons out, who desire to return to their native land, it is necessary to understand the background and complexities of the issue.
Is the blacklist authentic and legal? Under which provision of Indian law this blacklist was prepared? What was the criterion to include the names? Who are the ones whose names have been included in the list? What are the exact numbers? What are the charges against them? Whether they are fugitives of the law of the land or those Punjabi Sikhs who are peacefully engaged in propagating the idea of Khalistan on foreign soil? Whether there are any FIR’s registered against them in Punjab? Who recommended their names- central agencies or state police or both?
For us, the question is not of deleting few names or scrapping of the unlawful list. The basic question is will India allow the so-called blacklisted person to visit their native land and Darbar Sahib and return back without compromising on their ideology and principles. I have serious doubts.
Sikh aspirations for freedom are alive. The struggle to fulfill it is on. Dal Khalsa is wedded to the concept of Sikh Sovereignty. Our party activists will continue to pursue their mission in a democratic fashion and as per international laws wherever they are across the globe.
By- Kanwar Pal Singh