More than Canada, the word Khalistan is abuzz in Pakistan. Not only the gung-ho social media gangs, mainstream political and media voices have pounced upon the India-Canada spat to weave a pro-Khalistan narrative.
Former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was more strident in his reaction. He said that it was about time for the international community to accept that India had become a “rogue Hindutva terrorist state”. Bilawal noted that Canada had levelled a “major allegation” against India and that New Delhi had been exposed before the world.
— Economy.pk (@pk_economy) September 19, 2023
Pakistan’s Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani took it further and said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s “positive outreach and peace overtures”, including the opening of the Kartarpur corridor for visa-free visits from the Indian Sikh community, have been met with negativity.
Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi joined the anti-India diatribe, saying that Pakistan was not “surprised” by Canada’s revelations that the Indian government was involved in the killing of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June this year.
“India’s terrorism in Canada is not a matter of surprise for Pakistan,” the top diplomat remarked, “What happened in Canada did not surprise us.” He added that there must be some truth to the allegations leveled by the Canadian PM.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch during the weekly briefing said that target killing of a Sikh by India in Canada is unfortunate, adding that India has been involved in target killings in South Asia since centuries.
The blizzard of anti-India tirade is not surprising as Pakistani intelligence has been the chief sponsor of Khalistani terror in Punjab in the eighties and the nineties. There have been credible documentation of Pakistan’s hand in fusing Khalistani and Kashmiri separatism overseas.
India Narrative scanned coverage of almost every mainstream news channel, newspaper and digital platforms. They were unequivocal in slamming India. Individual journalists specially took more personal potshot, tagging their Indian media friends in their social media posts.
Newspaper Dawn, which is otherwise known for its moderate and balanced approach, was scathing in its editorial. “Considering the cosy relationship between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, perhaps the Indians have taken a page out of Mossad’s handbook in organising the hit on an individual they considered a ‘terrorist’. Other states, too, indulge in such activities,” it wrote.
Among individual journalists – Mariana Babar, Shafaat Shah and Abbas Nasir – fervently shared news of Canada-India spat as a big failure of Indian foreign policy. Mariana even teased Indian journalists who were sharing hourly update on the stand-off.
Mariana shared a cryptic tweet of propagandist Shafaat Shah that reads like this: “Only if Pakistan had also internationalised the killing of Sikh leader Pramjit Singh by RAW in Lahore on 6 May 2023 and of Kashmiri leader Mohammad Riaz on 8 September in Rawalakot, today our stance would have been vindicated by the West after a similar evidence by Canada regarding their citizen and there would have been a greater pressure on India. Even now it can be raised at international fora with evidence.”
Only if Pakistan had also internationalised the killing of Sikh leader Pramjit Singh by RAW in Lahore on 6 May 2023 and of Kashmiri leader Mohammad Riaz on
8 September in Rawalakot, today our stance would have been vindicated by the West after a similar evidence by Canada…
— SHAFAAT SHAH (@INFANTRY28) September 21, 2023
Interestingly, Babar has been working for various India media outlets herself.
Besides, a number of Pakistani social accounts have been sharing fake news and spreading disinformation about India revolving around the Khalistani issue. Many of them have even glorified declared Khalistani terrorists, and some of them are believed to either be hiding in Pakistan or operating with the help of Pakistan.
South Asia Index – A Pakistani propaganda tool
The Pakistan-based Twitter account “South Asia Index” has been accused of disseminating misleading information to the international community. India Narrative has documented the propaganda of this twitter handle in several of its reports.
On September 19, the account claimed that the White House supported the allegations Canada made, that Trudeau briefed US President Biden on the matter, and that Western leaders may soon issue a joint statement about it.
Contrary to the claims, there are no credible reports confirming the existence of any joint statement from “Western leaders”.
Just IN:— White House supports the allegations Canada has made against the Indian govt for killing Sikh leaders.
— Canada PM Trudeau has briefed US President Biden over involvement of Indian govt in killing Canadian Sikhs.
— Western leaders can soon issue a joint statement…
— South Asia Index (@SouthAsiaIndex) September 19, 2023
- A video was shared in Pakistan claiming that a protest was held in front of the RAW office in Amritsar, Punjab, India, against the murder of Hardeep Singh Najjar in Canada. The protesting Sikh community people raised the slogans of Khalistan Zindabad. The New Delhi-based fact-checking portaldfrac.orgon investigation that it was an old video of the protest held in July. The police detained Dal Khalsa workers, who were protesting against the killings of Sikh separatist leaders abroad.
- It was claimed that the White House supports the charges that Canada has leveled against the Indian government for the killing of Sikh leaders. But According to media reports, America’s National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated,” she is ‘very concerned’ about the allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.” Nowhere in the media reports has it been said that the White House has supported the allegation of Canada.
- Pakistani user “Dukhtar e Balochistan” claimed – “We have been saying from day one that Karima Baloch was killed in Canada as part of a conspiracy by India and held Pakistan responsible for her murder. Everyone knows that Canada is the main hub of Indians. They have many active cells which are working against Pakistan and Khalistan. Recently, another such conspiracy of India was revealed by Canadian Prime Min. Trudeau.” But according to media reports, the family members of Karima Baloch suspected the Pakistani Army in the murder. According to Karima’s husband Haider, this cannot be denied because he is receiving threats. He left Pakistan because his house was raided more than twice. She had worked on many global forums to expose the atrocities of the Pakistani Army in Balochistan.