The much talked about Referendum 2020, designed and conceived by Pakistan, turned out to be a damp squib as it failed to draw an anti-India support.
A handful of ageing Sikhs with their curious local friends came to hear Khalistani elements on Sunday at Trafalgar Square in London. British-Pakistani, Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was in the Labour Party but thrown out for his indiscipline and political views, was among the speakers.
Ahmed, who calls himself as a sympathiser for Kashmiris and Sikhs, spoke of breaking up Punjab and India. His open participation at the Trafalgar Square event exposed Pakistan’s direct financial and logistic support to the event.
Sikh separatists, including the chief of Dal Khalsa, a Sikh separatist based in London, Jaswant Singh Thekedar, widely condemned the Pakistan-backed propaganda. “People like Lord Nazir say that he supports the cause of Khalistan and Kashmir. Who has given him the right to talk about Khalistan?.. They have misled people about the Khalistan issue.”
The organiser of the event, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is a New York-based lawyer, is a close associate of prominent Sikh extremists, like Jagtar Singh Tara of Khalistan Tiger Force and UK-based Paramjit Singh Pamma. Pannun’s language, akin to Pakistani Punjabi, confused the people gathered at the huddle, who failed to understand the so-called non-binding Referendum 2020.
Jaswant Singh Thekedar accused Pannun for working as Pakistani stooge. He said, “No religious Sikh leader has participated in the event. Pannun was making publicity of this event for the past two years and spent huge amount of money. They hired TV and radio stations for the publicity. We believe Pakistan has spent entire money for this publicity. These Sikhs are mostly enjoying Pakistan’s patronage and we do not support their cause.” He added, “The Referendum 2020 is totally unlawful and the voting will have no relevance”.
A large number of Indians living in UK also gathered at the Trafalgar Square and sung patriotic songs to counter Pakistan-backed Referendum 2020 event. They, through their presence, sent out a message of united India to the world.