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Canada drops reference to Sikh extremism from terror threat report

The removal of a reference to Sikh extremism from “2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada” by the Public Safety Canada, a Canadian government department, has attracted sharp criticism from various quarters including pro-Khailistani groups.

The move was seen as an attempt to woo Canadian Sikhs. Soon after the report was updated Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited a Vancouver gurdwara.

Pro-Khalistan group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has called upon Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step down for practising the politics of expediency in having his government drop Sikh extremism from a report on terror the day before he participated in Baisakhi parade.

The damage has been done Mr Prime Minister and you should resign over this, said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, SFJ legal adviser.

For close to a year you and your government stood behind a completely unsubstantiated terror report that labelled our community as Sikh extremists or terrorists. It’s despicable that you drop the offensive language from your report the day before you come calling for money and votes in Vancouver.

According to Pannun, the human rights advocacy group will continue its campaign targeting Liberal MPs and candidates wherever they campaign.

Canadian Sikhs cannot just be seen as the cash cow’ to help fund elections, added Pannun.

It is ironic that our federal democracy can work with the Bloc Quebecois and Parti Quebecois, but anyone who wants Khalistan independence is worthy of investigation and could be deemed an extremist or terrorist. Will the same thing happen to Canadians who want Scottish independence? It’s laughable, but that’s what’s happening to Canadian Sikhs, Pannun said.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has also criticised Trudeau for the move and has called it politically motivated.

“The Trudeau government has taken this decision under political pressure and is targeted to woo Sikhs in the election year. Trudeau is playing with fire as the decision will hit Indo-Canadian ties. Removal of Sikh extremism will also pose a threat to India’s national security” Captain Amarinder Singh said.

Earlier in 2018 the report had listed Sikh extremism as one of the five terror threats to Canada.

It had also mentioned two terror groups including Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation as terror associations.

Experts believe the removal of the reference to Sikh extremism will give rise to separatist activities in Canada which are already being used by pro-Khalistani groups to raise the demand for a separate homeland within India.

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