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Pakistan-Khalistan nexus exposed after Sikhs for Justice rides on Bathinda firing

Self-styled head of the banned Sikhs For Justice outfit, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun

Short of ammunition to keep alive the Khalistani cause, separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu has tried to ride on the Bathinda cantonment incident to breathe new life into his on-ventilator movement.

The self-styled leader of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ)—a pro-Khalistani outfit based in the United States posted a 48-second video where he indirectly invoked Mao Zedong’s recipe of revolution.

“Remember, political power comes from the barrel of the gun,” said Singh—a throwback to Mao’s coinage of the phrase during a meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1927.

Pannu added: “There will not be any peace in India unless we liberate Punjab from Indian occupation through the Khalistan referendum.”

Pannu further urged Sikh soldiers in the Indian Army to reach Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sago, on April 14, to support his call for a referendum on Khalistan.

The reference to “referendum” echoes Pakistan’s call for the same in Jammu and Kashmir. Unsurprisingly, the video is being widely and systematically shared by Pakistani twitter handles.

In fact, the nexus between the Pakistani intelligence and Pannu’s SFJ has now been credibly documented, especially after the government went after separatist Amritpal Singh to snuff out his nefarious Waris Punjab de enterprise.


The Washington Post is reporting citing the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) that pro-Khalistani elements after the Amritpal affair have been using multiple account networks that are inter-linked. The purpose is to trend tweets that incite violence inside India as well as against diplomatic missions, temples among others abroad.

The NCRI found 359 accounts that have driven the campaign since January. Networks of 20 to 50 accounts are usually used to push messages or videos, many of them featuring the founder of U.S.-based SFJ, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Each account would then relay the tweet dozens of times, tagging different journalists and other public figures to build visibility, the WaPo report said.

As expected, the Pakistan angle also features in the WaPo report. The daily points out that around 20 percent of the accounts identified as part of the Twitter networks claim to be located inside Pakistan. Some of them have, in fact, tweeted that Sikhs should be thankful for Pakistan or in support of one of the major Pakistani political parties.

“Involvement by a self-identified Pakistani network of putative SFJ supporters thus suggests not just bot-like activity but raises the possibility of a broader effort for covert influence,” the NCRI wrote. “The fact that this network of self-identified Pakistani accounts amplifies attacks against Hindu houses of worship, agitates for terror and attacks Indian consulates, aligns well with Pakistani strategic interests.”

After the Bhatinda episode, Pannu and co are desperately saying: “There will not be any peace in India unless we create Khalistan and liberate Punjab from Indian occupation.”

Also Read: Pak-backed Khalistani separatists launch bot army on Twitter to breed hatred against India