‘Country’s interests must be kept paramount’, Congress on Trudeau’s remark

‘Country’s interests must be kept paramount’, Congress on Trudeau’s remark

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  • September 19, 2023
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Congress leader Jairam Ramesh reacted to the remark made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against India regarding Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s murder. The veteran Congress leader said, “The Indian National Congress has always believed that our country’s fight against terrorism has to be uncompromising, especially when terrorism threatens India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity. Our country’s interests and concerns must be kept paramount at all times”.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs Minister (MEA) has decided to expel a Canadian diplomat following Trudeau’s statement. The Mea said, “The High Commissioner of Canada to India was summoned today and informed about the decision of the Government of India to expel a senior Canadian diplomat based in India. The concerned diplomat has been asked to leave India within the next five days. The decision reflects the Government of India’s growing concern at the interference of Canadian diplomats in our internal matters and their involvement in anti-India activities”.

Also read: ‘Absurd and motivated’: India rejects Canada’s allegation over Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing

The Indian government has also rejected the statement of the Canadian Prime Minister.

The Modi government called Trudeau’s remark “absurd and motivated”.

Further, India’s foreign ministry said, “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern.

Also read: In tit-for-tat, India expels Canadian diplomat. Details here

Former diplomat Rajiv Dogra told PTI news agency, “Justin Trudeau has been in trouble for some time now. He is anticipating that he may not last very long as PM of Canada. So, he has been trying to divert domestic attention to other issues”.

BJP leader Harjit Singh Grewal said, “Ever since Justin Trudeau became the PM of Canada, Khalistani activities have increased there, and there is no attempt being made to stop them. This is actually an issue of their own country, and this is their PM’s attempt to divert people’s attention from that”.

That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.

Also read: Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing: What India said on Canada’s Khalistani terrorist’s murder charge. Read the full statement

The space given in Canada to a range of illegal activities including murders, human trafficking, and organised crime is not new.

We reject any attempts to connect the Government of India to such developments.

We urge the Government of Canada to take prompt and effective legal action against all anti-India elements operating from their soil”.

Canada, which is home to an influential Sikh community, has blamed an Indian government agent for killing Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June this year.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday said it had credible information linking Indian government agents to the murder. Trudeau did not directly accuse India of definitely being involved and Foreign Minister Melanie Joly later used more cautious language, saying “if proven true” the allegations would be unacceptable.

Trudeau stated that Canada’s nation’s security agencies have actively pursued credible allegations of a potential link between the Indian government and Nijjar’s murder.

Trudeau’s comments on Monday marked the latest strain in relations between Ottawa and New Delhi this year.

Last week, Canada postponed a trade mission to India, which had been planned for early October, after the prime minister’s contentious meeting with PM Modi during the recently held G20 Summit in New Delhi.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar was slain in June outside a temple in Surrey, British Columbia, raising tensions between Sikh separatists and the Indian government. Nijjar’s death sparked protests among supporters of the separatist movement, who alleged the Indian government was behind the killing.

India has characterized a June protest outside its High Commission as an “attack” and its anti-terror agency is investigating. Modi’s office also publicly criticized Trudeau for allegedly tolerating “anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada.”

There have been longstanding allegations from Indian officials that Canada has been too comfortable with Sikh separatists who want an independent Punjab carved out of northwestern India.

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Updated: 19 Sep 2023, 11:22 AM IST

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