Official 1984 Files Reveal UK Acted on India’s Request

    LONDON, UK—Official documents released by the UK Government disclose that UK Foreign Secretary officially advised the Indian Government in removal of armed Sikh activists from the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar.

    “The Foreign Secretary decided to respond favourably to the Indian request and, with the Prime Minister’s agreement, as SAS officer has visited India and drawn up a plan which has been approved by Mrs Gandhi. The Foreign Secretary believes that the Indian Government may put the plan into operation shortly,” states a letter dated February 23, 1984 by Hugh Taylor, Private Secretary to the Home Secretary.

    It is clear that the UK Government was fully aware of the consequences relating to retaliation by the Indian community living in the UK; however, despite this, the Foreign Secretary provided assistance to the Indian Government.

    In 2014, the UK Government had denied providing any material help to India in eliminating armed Sikh resistance that had emerged in Punjab.

    William Hague, Former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, had dismissed a call from Labour MP John McDonnell for a full public inquiry in his Commons statement on February 4. “Understandably members of the Sikh community around the world still feel the pain and suffering caused by these events,” he said.

    “The then-government did send one military adviser to provide military advice on Indian contingency plans for an operation in the temple complex. However, this military advice was a one-off. It was not sustained.


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