Prime Minister Narendra Modi today conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s “strong concerns” about the continuing “anti-India activities of extremist elements” in Canada. In his talks with Prime Minister Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Modi raised concerns over threats to the Indian Canadian community, including Indian diplomats.
Modi also mentioned to Trudeau that a relationship based on “mutual respect and trust” was essential for the progress of the India-Canada relationship, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after the bilateral discussion.
“The prime minister highlighted that India-Canada relations are anchored in shared democratic values, respect for rule of law and strong people-to-people ties,” said the MEA statement.
“He conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship,” it said.
The nexus of such forces with organised crime, drug syndicates, and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well. It was essential for the two countries to co-operate in dealing with such threats, said the MEA.
Asked about India’s concerns over the increasing activities of the Khalistani elements in Canada, Trudeau said at a press conference that his country would always defend freedom of peaceful protest; at the same time, he asserted that it would always prevent violence and push back against hatred.
“I think on the issue of the community, it is important to remember that the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada,” said Trudeau.
“India is an extraordinarily important economy in the world and an important partner to Canada on everything from fighting climate change to creating growth and prosperity for the citizens,” he added.