When the majority of the Akali leaders were pursuing the idea of a more empowered Sikh-majority state within India, Sikh leaders like Jagjit Singh Chauhan pursued the idea of a sovereign Khalistan. In 1969 when Chauhan lost the Punjab assembly elections he moved to the United Kingdom, from where he also visited Pakistan's Nankana Sahib in an attempt to build a Sikh government. He also went to the US to meet his supporters in the Sikh diaspora.
Chauhan placed an advertisement on 13 October 1971 in the New York Times to proclaim an Independent Sikh state. After returning to India in the year 1977. In 1979 he went to the UK and announced the formation of the Kahlistan National Council. To strengthening himself, reportedly, he maintained contacts with various groups in Canada, the US and Germany.
Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) is a major pro-Khalistan militant outfit which has been declared a terror group by India, the UK, Canada and European Union. Apart from BKI, Khalistan Zindabad Force, Khalistan Commado Force, Khalistan Liberation Force are some listed Khalistani militant outfits.