White House rejects Khalistan petition
In a bid to clear its stance on religious freedom, White house has refused to respond about a petition submitted for its consideration, asking for support for Khalistan movement, a separatist Sikh Nationalist movement. White House has invoked President Obama’s comment on his visit to New Delhi that India will succeed so long as it is united irrespective of its religious differences.
“While we appreciate your participation on this platform, we cannot comment here on the specific policy issue raised in your petition,” the White House said.
This petition was created by one ‘GP’ on July 10, 2016, asking for support for Khalistan and gathered more than 1,06,700 signatures in 60 days.
The White House said the US President Obama has made it a priority to promote and protect religious freedom for all people, both at home and abroad. During his India visit in 2015 Obama had reaffirmed the universal right for those who practice faith to do so as they choose and without fear of persecution, the White House response said, and quoted from his remarks then.
“The peace we seek in the world begins in human hearts. And it finds its glorious expression when we look beyond any differences in religion or tribe, and rejoice in the beauty of every soul. And nowhere is that more important than India,” Obama had said. “Nowhere is it going to be more necessary for that foundation value to be upheld. India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith – so long as it’s not splintered along any lines – and is unified as one nation,” Obama said in his address in January, 2015.
US had earlier criticized India over the 1984 violence and White House has pointed out that the US has monitored and publicly reported on human rights issues, including the atrocities committed against members of the Sikh community during the 1984 violence in India.
“For example, the State Department’s Official Country Reports on Human Rights Practices covered the violence and its aftermath in considerable detail. We will continue to report on important human rights concerns, and State Department reports are available to the public,” it said.
This petition is the latest in the array of the petition war that has been going on between the US Indian community and US Pakistani community.
Earlier this week “we the people,” the White House Petition platform has witnessed another petition demanding the US to declare Pakistan as a terrorist sponsor nation, which was widely supported and signed by Indian-Americans which was in days followed by a Petition demanding the US to declare India as a sponsor of terror, which was supported by the Pakistani-Americans.
Today, US had denied the petition to declare Pakistan as sponsor of terrorism.