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June 25, 1999
Pak army trying to revive the ghost of Khalistan
The Pakistan Army appears to be trying to revive the Khalistan movement in Indian Punjab so as to divert the Indian Army's attention from its operations to evict Pak-supported invaders from the Kargil-Dras sector.
Jamaat-i-Islami, which has close links with the Pakistani Army and has been playing a leading role in Islamic militancy in Kashmir, assured a recent gathering of separatist Sikhs in a Lahore hotel ''do not consider yourselves alone in the fight for freedom: all the Muslims of the world are with you.''
The Sikh separatists had collected in Lahore from different parts of the world to attend sang sabha organised by Dal Khalsa, Babar Khalsa and International Sikh Youth Federation in connection with the 15th anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
Chief of the Lahore unit of Jamaat-i-Islami Frid Piracha addressed the sabha and told the Sikhs that the Muslims were with them. A Jamaat-i-Islami poet declared at the meeting ''now Jamaat-i-Islami and Sikhs have become one.''
Lahore's Urdu daily Pakistan, which reported this gathering later in a news letter, captioned the report: ''When will Khalsa wake up?''
In the Urdu daily Nawa-i-waqt, former Inter Services Intelligence chief Hamid Gul wrote a long article saying ''now is the time the Kashmiri Mujaheedin established contacts with the Khalistanis.''
During the early 1980s Gen Zia-ul-Haq had used the Muslim League leader from Punjab Choudhry Zahoor Elahi to keep in touch with visiting Sikhs and try to poison their minds about India. The army has now apparently given this role to Jamaat-i-Islami.
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