Stop providing safe haven to criminal, secessionist elements: India to Canada

New Delhi, (UNI) India on Tuesday called on Canada “to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven and political space” after Khalistani elements brought out a religious procession in Malton, in Ontario, Canada, that saw the chanting of anti-India slogans and Khalistani leaders delivered inflammatory statements against India.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal, in response to media queries regarding the float in the Nagar Kirtan parade in Malton, Canada, said:

“As you are aware, we have repeatedly raised our strong concerns regarding the violent imagery being used by extremist elements in Canada against our political leadership.

“Last year, a float depicting the assassination of our former Prime Minister was used in a procession. Display of posters of Indian diplomats have also been put out across Canada threatening violence against them.

“Celebration and glorification of violence should not be a part of any civilized society. Democratic countries which respect the rule of law should not allow intimidation by radical elements in the name of freedom of expression.

“We continue to remain concerned about the security of our diplomatic representatives in Canada and expect the Government of Canada to ensure that they are able to carry out their responsibilities without fear.

“We again call upon the Government of Canada to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven and political space in Canada.”

The statement comes as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that Canada has been welcoming a number of gangland people with organised crime links from Punjab and ignoring Indian warnings against giving them visa, which has resulted in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

He also said that the Khalistani elements have organised themselves politically in Canada and become a political lobby.

“And in some of these democratic countries the politicians of those countries are made to believe that if they defer to these people or pander to these people, these people have some ability to get the community to support them,” he said, in reference to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who has taken the support of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who is a Khalistan sympathiser. Canada is known to have the second highest Sikh population in the world, after India, at over 770,000, or about two % of its total population.

EAM said these separatist elements “have tried to create space for themselves in the politics of these countries”.

“At this time, I would say it is not so much of a problem in the US; our biggest problem right now is in Canada. Because in Canada, actually, the party in power in Canada, other parties in Canada, have given these kinds of extremism, separatism and advocates of violence a certain legitimacy, in the name of free speech.”

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