“Trudeau’s remarks illustrate political space given in Canada to extremism, violence…”: India

Canada Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday condemned the pro-Khalistan slogans at a public event attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and stressed that this shows the kind of political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism, and violence.

During the weekly presser, MEA spokesperson Jaiswal said, “PM Trudeau has made such remarks earlier as well…His remarks illustrate once again the kind of political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism, and violence.”

Further, Jaiswal emphasised that this encourages a climate of violence and criminality in Canada.

“This not only impacts India-Canada relations but also encourages a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens,” he said.

During the Khalsa Day Celebrations that took place in Toronto, loud chants of pro-Khalistan slogans were seen being raised in the presence of Canadian PM Trudeau, as well as opposition leader Pierre Poilievre.

As PM Trudeau was about to take the stage for his address to mark Khalsa Day, the chants were heard getting louder till he arrives and commences his speech in the video released by Canada-based CPAC TV.

Following the incident, India also summoned the Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to the Ministry of External Affairs to raise its concerns over the matter.

The MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiwal on Thursday reiterated, “You would have seen our Press Release on the summoning of the Canadian Deputy High Commission regarding an event attended by PM Trudeau where Khalistan slogans were raised.”

Trudeau, at the event, in a staunch assurance to the Sikh Community in the country, said that the government is always there to protect their rights and freedoms at all costs. He added that diversity is one of Canada’s greatest strengths, and the country is strong not in spite of the differences, but because of those differences.

At the Khalsa Day Celebrations in Toronto, slogans of “Khalistan Zindabad” were heard at the event in which, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow were also present.

A similar instance also occured when the leader of the official opposition of Canada, Pierre Poilievre walked up to the stage to begin his address to the people gathered at the event.

Trudeau’s remarks come at a time when the diplomatic relations between India and Canada are going through a difficult phase.

Notably, it was the killing of India-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, that sparked a row between both the countries.

Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by the National Investigation Agency in 2020, was shot and killed as he came out of a Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on the evening of June 18, 2023.

The video of his killing that reportedly surfaced in March recently, showed Nijjar being shot by armed men in what has been described as a ‘contract killing’.

The killing led to accusations from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the government of India had a hand in the killing — a claim that was denied by India and led to the deterioration of diplomatic ties between Canada and India.

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