The Khalistan movement is a Sikh nationalist movement that wants to create an independent state for Sikh people, via armed struggle or political, inside the current North-Western Republic of India Such a state existed in Punjab from 1709 to 1849. This Sikh Empire had its capital in Lahore, Pakistan. Most of historical Sikh empire is now part of Pakistan. Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and Pakistan adminstrated Kashmir were part of the Sikh empire. Pakistani Punjab, FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were major part of the Sikh empire. The new state created would be called Khalistan (Doabi:ਖਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ) in the modern territories of Eastern Pakistan and Western India. Its stated capital would be Lahore, a city where Sikh empire was commenced by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and ruled for centuries by his descendants. Khalistan has many separatist groups such as Khalistan Liberation Force and other groups such as Babbar Khalsa.
The movement was most popular in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1971, the movement could collect millions of dollars of funding. Today, it is seen on a smaller scale. There are claims that the movement supports young people financially, if they join militant groups fighting to get a Sikh homeland. Most of this funding comes from Sikh supporters outside the current state of India.
On April 12, 1980, Jagjit Singh Chauhan, a prominent supporter of the movement, met with Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. After the meeting, he declared that he had formed the National Council Of Khalistan, at Anandpur Sahib. He said he was the President of this movement, and Balbir Singh Sandhu was its Secretary General. In May 1980, Chauhan travelled to London and announced the formation of Khalistan. A similar announcement was made by Sandhu, in Amritsar. Sandhu also released stamps and currency of Khalistan. Some people said, the Indian authorities in Amritsar and elsewhere should not have been inactive and that this was a planned political move by the Indian National Congress