Canadian Sikh groups push back against alleged smearing over Khalistan | india news

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) and his wife Sophie Gregoire (left) and son Xavier (centre) visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar on February 21.

Sikh teams are pushing again in opposition to the perceived demonisation of the group in Canada within the wake of controversies surrounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s go to to India in February and criticism of New Democratic Celebration chief Jagmeet Singh’s appearances during which he appeared to endorse separatism.

Disturbed by the destructive portrayal, the World Sikh Organisation (WSO) launched a social media marketing campaign #AskCanadianSikhs. The advocacy group mentioned: “Over the previous month, the Canadian information media experiences have lacked nuance and context and in consequence, have smeared the Sikh group as radical and extremist.”

A spokesperson for WSO didn’t reply to requests from the Hindustan Instances for touch upon the marketing campaign.

Activist teams have beforehand organised to forestall the opposition Conservative Celebration from tabling a movement within the Home of Commons slamming Khalistani terrorism whereas lauding the contribution of Canadian Sikhs to the nation.

The hardline group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) held a convention lately close to Toronto about its proposed Punjab Independence Referendum 2020, however addressed the problems arising out of Trudeau’s journey.

“What occurred throughout Trudeau’s go to when he went to India? All the warmth he acquired that there are Canadians who’re funding terrorist actions and they’re scary the Sikh group in Punjab for violence. We wished to let the world, the Canadian members of Parliament, we wish to let the Prime Minister know for certain there’s a marketing campaign for self-determination nevertheless it doesn’t have any room for violence. There isn’t any terrorist exercise that’s being funded by the Canadian Sikhs.” SFJ’s authorized advisor Gurpatwant Pannun mentioned.

SFJ additionally despatched invites to Trudeau and all Canadian MPs to attend the occasion or ship their representatives, however none of them turned up. In a letter to Trudeau, Pannun wrote: “You should be conscious that it’s a well-established undeniable fact that Khalistan is merely a political opinion and Canadian Sikhs who consider in and advocate for it can’t be charged with violence or terrorism for expressing a political opinion, irrespective of how disagreeable that opinion could also be for India or Canada.”

SFJ additionally engaged a public relations agency to succeed in out to Canadian commentators who had been significantly harsh on the matter of Khalistan.

“Whereas the Indian authorities might attempt to body a convention like this one as being led by extremists, or worse, terrorists, it’s really being led by the human rights advocacy groupSikhs for Justice. Many members of parliament have attended their occasions previously and invites have been despatched this 12 months too,” the message despatched out to journalists learn.

Whereas the Indian authorities and the administration in Punjab have usually raised considerations over Canadian extremists making an attempt to re-establish the violent Khalistan motion to the state, Pannun mentioned their undertaking was “peaceable, non-violent and inside worldwide legislation.”

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