SFJ applauds China's inclusion of Arunachal Pradesh in latest map

SFJ leader says China's action is well-founded, as India is occupying Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Punjab

Our Correspondent
Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. — Geo News/File
Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. — Geo News/File

LONDON: Sikh for Justice (SFJ) General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has commended China for including Arunachal Pradesh in the latest version of its standard map published earlier this week.

In an official statement, Pannun pointed out that China's action is well-founded, as India is occupying Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir, and Punjab (Khalistan), which rightfully belong elsewhere.

China introduced its new "official map" on Monday, encompassing Arunachal Pradesh, the Aksai Chin region, Taiwan, and the contentious South China Sea.

Pannun added: "The G20 Summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10 would serve as an appropriate platform for China to announce the annexation of Arunachal Pradesh and endorse the Khalistan Referendum."

In June, the SFJ reached out to China, urging the annexation of Arunachal Pradesh and supporting a Khalistan Referendum for Sikh independence.

They perceive Punjab as being occupied by India and view Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese territory. The letter cites historical economic conflicts between India and China and calls for a parallel to India's 1975 annexation of Sikkim.

India has lodged a protest against China's recent map that lays claim to Indian territories, namely Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin. India refuted these assertions citing their lack of foundation and condemned China for exacerbating efforts towards resolving border disputes.

In India, Sikhs form a religious minority, constituting a small portion of the 1.4 billion population. However, within the Indian state of Punjab, they make up the majority, with Hinduism being the second most prevalent faith in the province.

Established in 2007, the SFJ is a United States-based organisation that advocates for a distinct Sikh homeland known as "Khalistan" in Punjab. Pannun, a legal graduate from Panjab University and presently an attorney in the US, represents the SFJ and serves as its legal consultant.

During 2019, the SFJ was labelled a subversive entity under India's Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which occurred shortly after the group unveiled the Khalistan referendum campaign.

Over the past three years, the voting procedure has transformed into a mobile event within Sikh communities. Commencing with London in October 2021, where the first ballots were cast, succeeded by Rome in 2022, and Melbourne earlier this year.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed strong disapproval that a politically motivated activity by extremist elements was permitted to occur in countries considered friendly, such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and others.

In Vancouver, Canada, the SFJ has planned the voting on the referendum for October 10. Anticipating participation from tens of thousands of Sikhs, the vote is poised to make a significant impact.