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Saturday, June 15, 2024

India for bilateral ties based on respect for each others’ concerns: PM to Canada’s Trudeau

Date:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday thanked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his congratulatory message, while politely conveying that India was for furthering bilateral relations based on mutual understanding and “respect for each others’ concerns” – in reference to Ottawa’s pandering to pro-Khalistani elements.

PM Modi, who took over on Sunday to head the country for the third successive term, said on X:

“Thank you @CanadianPM for the congratulatory message. India looks forward to working with Canada based on mutual understanding and respect for each others’ concerns.”

He was replying to a congratulatory message by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau in which he said that “Canada stands ready to work with his government to advance the relationship between our nations’ peoples—anchored to human rights, diversity, and the rule of law”.

India has repeatedly called out Canada for pandering to Khalistani elements for the sake of political expediency.

In May, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said that India’s bilateral ties with Canada have deteriorated due to Ottawa’s own domestic political interests in giving shelter to pro-Khalistani elements, and warned that by giving shelter to “such people who are criminals” Canada will see gang warfare being played out in its territory.

At an event in Nashik, the EAM had said: “Freedom of speech cannot be freedom to advocate violence, to support separatism, or terrorism in a foreign country. But there is a group of Khalistanis who have misused the freedoms given in Canada — not just now, they have been doing it for years.”

“And in Canada’s politics, these elements are part of vote bank politics, and they are encouraged.”

“Today I will state a fact that due to the activities of these people our bilateral relations have deteriorated,” he said, adding that the Indian diplomats face threats hurled at them by Khalistani elements and once a smoke bomb was hurled into the house of the envoy.”

The EAM also said that whoever supported separatism against India was “given shelter” in Canada.

His comments came as four Indian nationals were arrested by Ottawa and charged with murder in the case of the killing of separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada last year.

Ties between the two nations have come under strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar.

India has dismissed the charges.

On June 8, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said that the promotion of violence is never acceptable in Canada, following images of Khalistani separatists gathered in front of India’s consulate in Vancouver with effigies of the bullet-riddled body of former PM Indira Gandhi and her Sikh bodyguards who assassinated her.

LeBlanc posted on X: “This week, there were reports of imagery depicting the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Vancouver. The promotion of violence is never acceptable in Canada.”

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