People of Punjab no longer support the Khalistan dream, says defence expert
Punjab, Oct 10: The movement for a separate Khalistan state for Sikhs gave rise to over a decade of militancy in Punjab during the 80s and 90s. Many youths of the state took up arms for insurgent activities, which were and are funded by few foreign agents. With the advent of the internet and social media in recent times, anti-social elements also tried to spread their message and reach out to youths online. However, things are changing in the northwestern state, says defence expert P.K. Sehgal. The movement no longer has the support of the young population amid tighter security policies. Pakistan has also been a strong supporter of the Khalistan movement and has helped rebels in their militancy. As Punjab gears up for polls scheduled early next year, Sehgal says Pro-Khalistan separatists may try to vitiate the atmosphere with the help of Pakistan. However, the defence expert adds Indian forces are more than capable to deal with such situations. The Khalistan movement, that peaked in the late 20th century, has claimed hundreds of lives. But its reach has dwindled as more and more youths come up in support of India and reject anti-India forces.