June 16, 2024

Earlier today a video of Trudeau responding to a question – about the parade float in Brampton last month and that he may be unwilling to take action against Khalistani terrorists because he relies on Sikh votes – emerged online.

 

India on Thursday responded sharply to comments on ‘freedom of expression’ made by Canada prime minister Justin Trudeau against the backdrop of increasing pro-Khalistan activity in that country and planned protests on Saturday.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stressed such freedom could not be used to instigate violence or excuse terrorist activity.

“We have seen media reports about comments by PM Trudeau… the issue is not about freedom of expression but its misuse for advocating violence, propagating separatism and legitimising terrorism,” Bagchi told reporters.

Earlier today a video of Trudeau responding to a question – about the parade float in Brampton last month and that he may be unwilling to take action against Khalistani terrorists because he relies on Sikh votes – emerged online.

The Canadian leader called such reports ‘wrong’ and insisted his government ‘always takes serious action against terrorism and we always will’.

“They are wrong. Canada has always taken extremely seriously violence and threats of violence. We have always taken serious action against terrorism and we always will. We have an extremely diverse country and freedom of expression is something we have… we always make sure we are pushing back against violence and extremism in all its forms,” he said at a media interaction.

 

Trudeau’s assertion came two days after India served Canada a demarche over proposed protests by pro-Khalistan terror outfits outside the Indian High Commission in Ottawa and consulates in Toronto and Vancouver on July 8.

Last week Jaishankar was highly critical of the Canadian government’s lack of action against Khalistani protests and said, “It is something which is a continuing conversation with Canada… not always satisfactory… but something on which we have been very clear.”

Acknowledging the issue ‘has impacted our ties in many ways’, Jaishankar also said, “How Canada has dealt with the Khalistani issue is a longstanding issue… very frankly, they seem to be driven by vote bank politics… responses constrained by what they regard as vote bank compulsions.”

On Tuesday the Narendra Modi government formally warned Canada of planned pro-Khalistan activities to take place this week on its soil and requested strong measures to prevent protesters from breaking into or vandalising its missions and consulates or desecrating the Indian flag.

 

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