India-Canada tensions: ‘Khalistan’ elements in Canada attracting Sikh youth through visa sponsorship

Within Canada, there are reports of individuals or groups sympathetic to Khalistan enticing and easily influencing Sikh youth to immigrate to North America, as per PTI sources. These recruiters allegedly offer visa sponsorship, with the main intention of manipulating these individuals to advance Khalistan-related goals within the Canadian territory. Khalistani figures like Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Moninder Singh Bual, Parminder Pangli, and Bhagat Singh Brar are reportedly utilizing these recruited Sikh youth to promote the pro-Khalistan agenda in Canada. The sources indicate a shortage of manpower due to insufficient support from the diaspora. In response, pro-Khalistan elements in Canada have introduced a scheme offering sponsorship to vulnerable Sikh youth from Punjab, enabling them to secure medium-skilled positions or engage in religious roles in gurdwaras under their influence, according to PTI reports.


According to sources, individuals associated with pro-Khalistan movements, including Hardeep Nijjar, Gurjeet Bual, and Sukhraj Brar, are accused of facilitating visas for Punjabi youth to engage in pro-Khalistan activities in Canada. Allegedly, these individuals identify financially struggling Indian youth and students in Canada, offering them assistance with jobs and housing, subsequently involving them in pro-Khalistan initiatives. The sources also suggest a connection between these individuals and the ISI-backed Khalistani group ‘Sikhs For Justice.’ When the group faced challenges in garnering support for its anti-India campaign, Nijjar and associates allegedly utilized recruited individuals as ‘foot soldiers’ to create a misleading impression of campaign success.

Furthermore, it is claimed that these pro-Khalistan elements exercise control over more than 30 gurdwaras in areas such as Surrey, Brampton, and Edmonton, facilitating their recruitment efforts. An alleged ‘unholy nexus’ is mentioned between these individuals and gangsters in Punjab, with claims that they brought wanted gangsters to Canada in exchange for using operatives in Punjab for potential terror activities. Lastly, the sources indicate that certain pro-Khalistan political parties in India were reported to charge fees for providing letters to youth, who then used these documents to seek political asylum in Canada by falsely claiming persecution on religious grounds. It is essential to recognize that these are unverified allegations, and the accuracy of the claims should be validated through credible sources and investigations. International relations and political movements are intricate, and different perspectives and interpretations may exist.

Upon arriving in Canada through channels associated with alleged pro-Khalistan extremists, young individuals are said to inevitably join pro-Khalistan groups. The process of obtaining a Canadian visa is commonly recognized as both challenging and time-consuming for legitimate travelers. Despite Canada’s overt sensitivity to human trafficking, sources claim that this apparent “human trafficking” channel orchestrated by pro-Khalistan elements continues to operate without disruption. This raises questions about the effectiveness of Canadian agencies in monitoring and preventing such activities within their jurisdiction.