Unaware of 2020 Sikh referendum campaign: US state department

Washington: The US State Department on Tuesday said that they are not yet aware of campaigns organised by US-based pro-Khalistan Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), adding that such calls come under freedom of speech.

“I am not aware of it. That’s- I mean, I’m just not aware of it today. I haven’t seen these reports. We have freedom of speech in the United States, we have freedom of association, and these are bedrock principles of American society,” said Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson of the State Department told reporters.

The SFJ is a US-based hardliner group, which recently sought Pakistan’s support for its controversial social media campaign ‘Referendum 2020’ to separate Punjab from India.

Having failed to garner support in Punjab, the group now plans a ‘Referendum 2020’ poll in major cities of the US, Europe, Australia and other countries.

When asked that if the State Department is aware of such campaigns carried out on the US soil and is taking any measures to curb such activities, Palladino said, “We have freedom of speech in this country that’s protected by our First Amendment, and that is a bedrock of American society and the American Constitution, and I, unfortunately, don’t have anything on this specific case.”