AMRITSAR: The Pakistan government on Sunday denied foreign-based Khalistani Sikhs to start registration for the so-called ‘Referendum 2020’, which seeks separation of Punjab from India. However, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) general secretary Gopal Chawla raised slogans in support of Khalistan while trying to instigate Indian Sikh pilgrims at Gurudwara Panja Sahib on the occasion of Baisakhi.

In a viral video, Chawla is heard raising slogans in praise of Khalistan while addressing a Sikh gathering on the occasion of 320th Khalsa Sajna Diwas. Infuriated over Pakistan government’s stand, US-based separatist Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is running the secessionist campaign under the banner of Sikhs For Justice, said: “Lines have been drawn with Pakistan for supporting India to block Referendum 2020.” He also uploaded a poster on social media that read “Khan and Bajwa joined Modi to stop Khalistan 2020”.

“Khalistani activists were officially invited by PSGPC but were not allowed to carry banners at Gurdwara Panja Sahib. They were forced to stop their scheduled plan to register volunteers,” Pannun told TOI. Allegedly backed by Pakistan’s ISI, SFJ was to launch the registration of ‘Team 2020’ for its Khalistan referendum from the Gurdwara.

“Now, Khalistan referendum volunteers’ global registration will be launched from Gurdwara Sahib, Stockton, California,” said Pannun.