Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over “continued anti-India activities by extremist elements in Canada” in a bilateral conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20. Canada has been one of the favorite centers of expat Sikhs, where extremism has increased on the fringes and made headlines in recent months.
Prime Minister Modi told Mr. Trudeau that extremist elements in Canada “promote separatism and incite violence against Indian diplomats, damage diplomatic buildings and threaten the Indian community and their places of worship,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
“The relationship of such forces to organized crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should also be a concern for Canada. It is essential for the two countries to work together in tackling such threats,” the statement said.
The Prime Minister also said that a relationship based on mutual respect and trust is essential for the progress of the India-Canada relationship, the ministry said.
Trudeau said today that he has discussed Khalistan’s extremism and “foreign interference” with Prime Minister Modi several times “over the years.”
Canada will always “defend freedom of expression, conscience and peaceful protest,” Trudeau said. But it will also prevent violence and reduce hatred, he told reporters.
“It is important to remember that the actions of a few do not represent the entire community or Canada. The flip side of this is that we have also emphasized the importance of respecting the rule of law and we did discuss foreign interference,” he added.
In recent years, there have been several examples of Khalistani activity in Canada – including protests at the Indian embassy, attacks on journalists of Indian origin, a parade organized to celebrate the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and threatening posters targeting Indian diplomats . .
India had consistently protested against these cases.