Kumar said that SFJ is involved in anti-India and subversive activities in Punjab and has supported violent forms of extremism.
New Delhi: The Indian government on Thursday downplayed the threats by Al Qaeeda and Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) saying, they are not to be taken seriously.
Dismissing the threat video of Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, where he is instigating bloodshed in Kashmir, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday that India has the capability of taking care of its territorial integrity and sovereignty and there is no need to take these threats seriously.
“We keep hearing of such threats and it is not the first time that we received such a threat. I don’t think we need to take it seriously. Al Qaeda is a UN-prescribed terror organisation and their leader is a UN-designated terrorist. Our security forces are capable and equipped... They have the capability of taking care of our territorial integrity and sovereignty. Not to worry about these threats,” Mr Kumar said.
In a video, Zawahiri said that “the Mujahideen (armed terrorists) in Kashmir should focus on inflicting “unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and the government so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment.”
Terming the pro-Khalistan group “Sikhs for Justice” a fringe group, Mr Kumar said that the organisation has no traction within the mainstream Sikh community and India takes no cognisance of what such fringe elements say.
The US-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which pushes for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda, was on Wednesday banned by the Indian government for its anti-national activities. Run by a few radical Sikhs of foreign nationality in the US, Canada, the UK, SFJ was declared unlawful under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Its primary objective is to establish an “independent and sovereign country” in Punjab.
Mr Kumar said that SFJ is involved in anti-India and subversive activities in Punjab and has supported violent forms of extremism. “It is important to understand that the vast majority of Sikhs in Canada and other parts of the world share warm relations with India. They want better relations with India and their country of residence and frankly we take no cognisance of what the fringe elements have to say which is meant to create disharmony and spread hate,” he said during the weekly media briefing.
The MEA spokesperson added that this group has no traction within the mainstream Sikh community and India will continue to make efforts to engage with the Sikh community in Canada and other parts of the world with whom it shares a good relationship.