Chandigarh: Once a Khalistani terrorist, Wassan Singh Zaffarwal is opposed to actions of ‘Waris Punjab De’ president Amritpal as they violate of Sikh philosophy and are harmful to the interests of the community.
Zaffarwal, who once belonged to separatist Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) renounced violence and returned from Pakistan during the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP regime in Punjab. He co-founded separatist Panthic Committee led by Gurbachan Singh Manochahal that steered the armed struggle. After the killing of Manochahal in an encounter, Zaffarwal escaped to Pakistan and kept sending weapons into Punjab. Later using the good offices of an Akali politician when Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister, he returned to his village in Gurdaspur district.
In an exclusive interview with indianarrative.com, Zaffarwal said that, “it is highly objectionable to carry along Guru Granth Sahib in a protest march as was done by Amritpal and his men in Ajnala on February 23, 2023.” A practising Sikh normally, conducts an ‘Ardaas’ (prayer standing before the holy book) while setting out from his home or at the time of launching a new business etc.
When asked whether he agreed with Amritpal to push ‘Bhaiyaas’ out of Punjab, Zaffarwal said that “the inexpensive migrant labour from Bihar and UP comes to help the farmers and is readily available. It will be wrong to stop their entry to the state.”
Besides the former dreaded terrorist anticipated a backlash as large numbers of Sikhs were living in other states of India. If ‘Bhaiyaas’ were stopped then the Sikhs living outside Punjab would face reciprocal effect adding that Punjabis holding key businesses in India’s big cities and even abroad were likely to suffer.
In contrast to author Jagrtar Singh’s claim, Zaffarwal said that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale led the Khalistan movement. Though the armed struggle germinated from Anandpur Sahib resolution passed unanimously by the panthic leaders demanding an autonomous state. Jagtar had claimed that Bhindranwale did not start the Khalistan movement.
The reformed terrorist, however, feels that Operation Amritpal seems to be obliquely aiming to help the electoral interest of parties in power. Coming Jalandhar parliamentary byelection could also be a trigger point for building up such a hype.
Zaffarwal also advised the NRIs who had taken to violence abroad not to do anything that spoiled the image of the Sikhs. “Gurmat does not teach us to abuse people from other religions or vandalise their places of worship as was evident from viral videos,” he said.
He appealed to all the sects of Sikhs to put their heads together to analyse the present situation and give clear directions to restive youths. There was an urgent need to control drug-flow into Punjab.