NEW YORK – Amid rising tensions between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India, Sikh For Justice (SFJ), a U.S.-based human rights advocacy group, has given a call to Sikh soldiers serving the Indian Army to boycott what it called “India’s jingoistic war against Pakistan”, according to a press release issued on Wednesday.
It said SFJ has launched an online campaign asking Sikh soldiers “Not To Fight For Indian Army” because: the Indian constitution labels Sikhs as Hindus; Indian Army invaded Golden Temple in June 1984 and massacred thousands of Sikh pilgrims; the killing of more than 30,000 Sikhs in genocidal violence against the Sikhs throughout India in Nov 1984, and between 1984 to 1998, the killing of more than 150,000 Sikhs in extra-judicial encounters between 1984-1995 for demanding Khalistan, a separate homeland for Sikhs.
“Sikh soldiers should not lay their lives for India anymore and instead should support the campaign for a ‘Punjab Independence Referendum’ to create Sikh homeland Khalistan,’ Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, said in a statement .”For long Sikh blood has been used by India, and now is the time that Sikh soldiers should stop serving the power which is responsible for the genocide Sikhs,” Pannun added.
SFJ said it will stage a demonstration in front of UN Headquarters in New York on October 11 against what it called India’s plans of turning Punjab into a battlefield. The “Save Punjab Rally” will demand UN intervention against the ongoing Indian military build-up in Punjab which has forced thousands of Sikh farmers to evacuate the area, the group said.