Gurmit Singh Aulakh
Gurmit Singh Aulakh is the President of the Council of Khalistan, an organization that supports the establishment of Khalistan, a sovereign Sikh nation in South Asia. He is the President of Khalistan, which was declared by the Panthic Committee (Sarbat Khalsa - Khalsa Panth) on October 7th, 1987. He has made efforts to lobby politicians in the United States.
On October 7, 1987, Aulakh and his associates declared Khalistan's independence from India. Aulakh was declared as the President by the Panthic Committee selected by the Sarbat Khalsa in 1986.
In 1997, Aulakh received the Quaid-E-Azam Jinnah Freedom Award from the Pakistan Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee in Houston, Texas. as he supports Pakistani occupation of Khalistani Capital of Lahore.
On Jan. 30, 2001 Dan Burton mentioned in the Congressional records that a Christian organization called the "Persecuted Church of India" had thanked Aulakh for his efforts.
(Many Indian Christians are harassed by Hindutvists in India. In fact, Christian missionary Graham Stewart Staines, 58, and his two sons, Philip, ten, and Timothy, eight, were burned to death when the Jeep they were sleeping in was doused with gasoline and set on fire.)
On Oct. 14, 1999, John Dollittle stated in the House of Representatives that "the Council of Khalistan, held October 9 and 10 in New York, the delegates passed a resolution to nominate Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President of the Council of Khalistan, for the Nobel Peace Prize. I believe that he would be an excellent candidate."
On Oct. 13, 1999, Edolphus Towns stated in the Congressional records that Aulakh has been declared "Khalistan Man of the Year."
Lobbying and political connections
Dr. Aulakh has been a lobbyist for the Khalistan cause and was able to temporarily receive support from a few politicians in the US and UK.
- Edolphus Towns, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, from New York. He has been a supporter of Khalistan and Nagalim. Towns also wanted to "declare India a terrorist state" because of "the pattern of Indian terrorism against its minorities", an allegation that was summarily dismissed by the White House.
- Dan Burton, member of the United States House of Representatives from Indiana. He was a supporter of an independent Kashmir and Khalistan but has distanced himself from both since 9/11.
- Jesse Helms, former five-term Republican U.S. Senator from North Carolina. About two decades ago, he had circumvented the State Department's refusal of a visa to separatist Khalistan activist Jagjit Singh Chauhan by inviting him to testify before a Senate agriculture committee he headed.
- Lord Avebury, a member of the British House of Lords.
Attempts to introduce bills to censure the Government of India
Aulakh and his supporters have been active lobbyists in several attempted pieces of anti-India legislation aimed at limiting humanitarian developmental aid to India.
- In 1997, HR 182, the Human Rights in India Act, was sponsored by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) and Rep. Gary Condit (D-CA). to cut-off U.S. development aid to India until the president certifies to Congress that India has taken "certain steps to prevent human rights abuses" in India.
- Another resolution, H. Con. Res. 37, sponsored by Condit and Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) called for an internationally-supervised plebiscite in Punjab on the question of independence for the region. The act secured the support of only 82 members while 342 voted against it.
Neither piece of legislation had any major effect. Dan Burton beat a hasty retreat again in the House of Representatives in August 1999, withdrawing his amendment seeking a 25 per cent cut in the US development aid to India, in the face of an overwhelming opposition. Burton could line up only two lawmakers to speak in his favour. On the other hand, at least 21 Congressmen spoke out against the anti-India proposal. The opposition to the anti-India measure was so strong that Burton withdrew instead facing a decisive defeat on the floor.
The Indian Govt played a ploy on Dr Gurmit Singh Aulakh in 2002, accusing him of obtaining signatures by deception, which isn't true.