Writing in the foremost Canadian National paper the Globe and Mail about Indian Intelligence game of sniping at the Sikh lobby in Canada, Zuhair Kashmri says that the objective of the Intelligence is to “infiltrate, destabilize and divide.” He has come to this conclusion after a “four month investigation of clandestine intelligence activities in Canada involving the Government of India, interviewing sources in the police and intelligence communities including Federal Government officials closely involved with the Canadian Security, Intelligence Service, Metro Toronto Police intelligence branch and the RCMP and prominent Sikhs in Canada and United States and other members of Canada’s East Indian Community.

All these sources point to a scenario which can be summed up as follows:

India conducts intelligence operations at two levels directly through its consulates in Toronto and Vancouver and indirectly through infiltration in the Canadian Sikh community.

Indian intelligence’s chief target is the well-organized International Sikh lobby which serves as the financial, intellectual and administrative backbone of the movement for a homeland in Punjab.

The main thrust of Indian intelligence’s activities in Canada, according to The Globe sources, is to “spread false information, use paid informers and instigate activities for discrediting the Sikh separatist movement.

Department of External Affairs, according to the investigation is aware of these activities but have not taken any steps to prevent them.

Federal Government sources say this is because India holds an important position in the Commonwealth and the Department of External Affairs is sensitive about Indian accusations that Canada harbors Sikh separatist extremists.

As a result, the sources say, External Affairs representatives on a federal security committee have shared intelligence information with Indian on Canadian Sikh separatists. This was confirmed in an interview with External Affairs Minister Joe Clark by the Hindustan Times of New Delhi. Also shared with India were details of the investigation into the June 23 AirIndia crash and an explosion in a bag sent on CP Air to Tokyo intended for another AirIndia plane. Indian officials distorted and then spread some of the information. The Globe later learned that the only information given to the Indians by the security committee was that the association of the separatist and the copilot was being investigated.

The false detail about the package was added in New Delhi.

Indian intelligence is said to have been working in Canada as early as 1982, when the Sikh agitation in Punjab started.

A Sikh lobby persuaded politicians in Washington and Ottawa that Sikhs in India were being persecuted.

The stakes are high for India, which feels it is fighting for survival.

As the Sikh movement grew, a special intelligence group known as the Third Agency was created in New Delhi. Information collected by British, U.S. and Canadian intelligence services showed that its mandate was to neutralize the Sikh movement.

The agency began infiltrating Canadian Sikh groups in 1982 and eventually got control of the International Sikh Youth Federation, and made it the most extreme group operating in Canada, the United States and Europe.

In 1982, sources say, Indian consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, foreseeing the threat posed by a united and wealthy Sikh community abroad began hiring informants and agents provocateurs, and took over some ethnic newspapers.

On November 14, 1982, several Sikh temples in Toronto decided to join a demonstration against the Indian Government.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Indian consulate in downtown Toronto. Unknown to them, a group from the Pape Avenue temple organized a counterdemonstration. The group, and one member in particular, is suspected of being supported by the Indian consulate.

Agitators began shouting Providian slogans and began shoving members of the larger demonstration. Two members of the main protest shot at the leaders of the counterdemonstration.

A Metro Toronto Police officer who tried to disarm them was shot and wounded.

The resulting publicity gave Sikhs a reputation for violence.

After the incident, officers with the Metro Toronto Police intelligence branch and the ethnic relations unit found out that the consul general had given a small party the day before the demonstration. Officers interviewed people who attended and learned that consular Officials had predicted there would be shooting at the demonstration.

The officers then advised the RCMP Security Service that they suspected some people from the counterdemonstration were on the payroll of the consulate.

One man suspected of being backed by the consulate in the 1982 demonstration launched an

Organization that helped collect information on Sikh separatists and attempted temple takeovers.

He has been seen at consulate receptions and lunches. Most recently, he was involved in a Sikh Hindu friendship society that supports the Akali Dal Party in Punjab and its treaty with the Government of India.

The man denied in an interview that he was motivated by anything but support for the unity of India.

However, a local diplomat confirmed the man’s involvement in the disruption of the Toronto Sikh community, but said he was being paid by the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa. Federal Government sources close to CSIS say this is not true and cite it as an example of “disinformation.”

The consular operation has also gained control of at least three Punjabi newspapers in Toronto and Vancouver serving the Sikh and East Indian communities, according to police intelligence.

Gurmel Brar, editor of the Punjabi weekly, Sanjh Savera, said he was offered $200 by an Indian diplomat to publish a story written by the consulate, but refused.

The owner of an East Indian restaurant frequented by Sikh separatists said he was told by a local. Indian diplomat that the consulate “believed in helping the community” and that he could profit by providing information.

A senior Indian diplomat in Toronto acknowledged the possibility that the Indian Government hired local informants.

He said he wondered why Canadian police did not also hire informants. “How come you’re police are having a problem getting paid informants? Don’t they realize that the Sikhs are a mercenary community? We don’t have any problem getting paid informants.”

According to sources in police intelligence and the federal Government, Indian consulates in Toronto and Vancouver have instigated and financed temple takeovers and have paid to create a Sikh and Hindu temple in Toronto as part of their destabilization schemes.


One Indian diplomat said: “You don’t have to destabilize Sikhs and make them fight. Just put three of them in a room and they’ll fight out of habit.”

Most people whose homes were raided by the RCMP in the Vancouver area in connection with the AirIndia and CP Air incidents were either members of the youth federation or associated with it.

Police are particularly irritated about two incidents on which reports were received by External Affairs.

On July 5, 1984, a Toronto

Sikh heard radio reports that the Indian army was invading the Golden Temple in Amritsar and vented his anger at the local consulate by smashing photographs of Indian leaders.

Metro police got a sworn statement from the consulate’s private security guard that Consul General Surinder Malik did more damage than the Sikh and then blamed it on him.

Police and prosecutors decided to keep the statement secret and confront the Mr. Malik when he testified at the young Sikhs’ trail.

But, at the last minute, Indian Officials decided to seek diplomatic immunity for Mr. Malik and he did not testify.

And when consular officials in Vancouver were briefly held hostage as a protest against the Golden Temple invasion, they also refused to testify against those charged.

Federal Government sources believe neither diplomat wanted to risk being questioned in court about operations being carried on from their consulates.

Article extracted from this publication >>  December 20, 1985