Last Updated: September 14, 2023, 11:52 IST
Just four days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau met in New Delhi, Khalistani terror groups announced yet another referendum in Canada, revealing the country’s open support to the extremists.
The group threatened Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma and blamed him for the killing of pro-Khalistani activist Hardeep Nijjar. Nijjar was exiting the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, Vancouver, when he was fatally attacked by unidentified assailants on June 19 this year.
The terror group also thanked Trudeau for defending Canadian Sikhs, raising questions over the government’s backing to the extremists despite India raising concerns at all levels.
To make matters worse, recently, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre — while interacting with the media at the Punjabi Press Club BC on the question of Modi government’s push to ban Khalistan referendum in Canada — said: “If you believe in the Khalistani cause, you have the freedom to express yourself, just like Quebec separatists have the freedom to express themselves in Canada. We even let them have seats in the House of Commons.”
At the recent G20 Summit, PM Modi conveyed strong concerns about protests in Canada against India to Trudeau, according a statement by India.
“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,” the Indian statement said.
Relations between India and Canada remain tense, and Ottawa this month paused talks on a proposed trade treaty with India, just three months after the two nations said they aimed to seal an initial agreement this year. Modi, who held bilateral meetings with many world leaders during the G20 summit, did not hold one with Trudeau.