New Delhi: Ahead of the opening of the much controversial Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, Pakistan has released a video song welcoming Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan. The video opens with the footage of Navjot Singh Sidhu sitting in the audience as Pakistan PM Imran Khan talks about the importance of the corridor. Then the video went on to show various pilgrimages. But one of the footage contains photos of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Major General Shabeg Singh and Amrik Singh Khalsa in the background. All three of them were Khalistani separatist leaders killed in 1984 during Operation Bluestar.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a militant leader of the Sikh organisation Damdami Taksal. In 1982, Bhindranwale and his armed group moved to the Golden Temple complex and made it his headquarters. From inside the complex, Bhindranwale led the Punjab insurgency campaign and was killed during Operation Bluestar. While the Sikhs’ highest temporal authority Akal Takht describe him a ‘martyr’, he is widely regarded in India as a terrorist.
Major General Shabeg Singh was an Indian Army officer who, post dismissal, joined the Khalistan movement leader of Damdami Taksal, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, as a military adviser. He organised the Sikh militants in the fortification of the Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar.
Amrik Singh was the President of the All India Sikh Students Federation.
The apprehension that the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor can revive the Khalistani movement is not new. Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh earlier expressed his concerns that Pakistan can’t be trusted in its sudden love for the Sikh community. Pakistan is known for its support towards the Khalistani movement. Imran Khan was reported to have met Khalistani separatist Gopal Singh Chawla while talks on Kartarpur were going on between India and Pakistan.