Pakistan is playing with fire if it is supporting Khalistan

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At a time when Pakistan is facing an economic crisis and internal security challenges, the Pakistani state should be wary of re-igniting the issue of Khalistan as it will be dangerous for Pakistan.

In recent months incidents inside India, and by some individuals from the Sikh community within America, Britain and Canada, show a rise in demands for Khalistan (a Sikh majority state in Indian Punjab).

It is no secret that the Pakistani deep state supported the Khalistan movement since the 1970s, but there has been a resurgence of such support over the last few years. This kind of adventurism will only create more problems for Pakistan.

Pakistan has finally managed to get of the list of the UN-Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and of the European Union’s similar list. The country is still trying to recover from sanctions and global condemnation resulting from support of militancy in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Is it in Pakistan’s interests to attract new sanctions over support for groups that seek to dismember India, a fellow United Nations member.

While those inside Pakistan who support the issue of Khalistan may claim that they have nothing to worry as the Khalistanis are seeking to break up India. It must not be forgotten that die-hard Khalistan supporters have claimed not just all of Indian Punjab but large segments of Pakistani Punjab as well. Pakistan’s major city of Lahore would be Khalistan’s capital considering that there are many Sikh shrines in Pakistan, including Nankana Sahib.

Further, while there may be those inside Pakistan’s intelligence services who believe that instigating Hindu-Sikh riots would help Pakistan’s cause let it be remembered that that during Partition, the worst riots were those between Muslims and Sikhs, not Hindus and Sikhs.

Finally, the powers that be must remember that over the last 75 years, Pakistan has proven more vulnerable to secession than India. Do we want India to encourage Baloch, Sindhi, Mohajir, Pashtun and other nationalities to revolt against the Pakistani state?

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