Days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to interfere in the internal politics of India by extending his support to the ‘organic’ anti-farm law agitation, the Indian Ambassadors’ Group wrote an open letter on Monday, slamming his vote bank politics.
While slamming Justin Trudeau, who was earlier snubbed by India for supporting Khalistani terrorists, the letter emphasised, “It is well-known that the separatist and violent Khalistani elements carry out anti-India activities, from the safety of the Canadian soil. They are also radicalising the Canadian youth with far-reaching consequences, which is being ignored at the altar of short-term political expediency.”
22 former Indian envoys write an open letter on “vote bank politics in Canada”. Says, “no relationship can be one sided. Nor can any country especially India ignore actions which are prejudicial to her national interests and territorial integrity” pic.twitter.com/ourmKmtvDN— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) December 14, 2020
“It is well known that Khalistani elements in Canada control a number of prominent Gurudwaras which gives them access to substantial funds, some of which are allegedly diverted to the electoral campaign of political parties especially the Liberals,” the letter added. The former Indian envoys highlighted that Khalistani terrorists often hold processions and rallies in Canada, which are attended by Canadian politicians, despite them raising anti-India slogans. “Few Canadian politicians have qualms about attending such events which provide the oxygen of publicity to the separatists”, the ex-diplomats reiterated.
The letter slammed Trudeau and other Canadian lawmakers for turning a blind eye to the nexus between Pakistani diplomats and Khalistani terrorists. Even after the activities of Khalistanis were highlighted in the ‘2018 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada’, all such references were later covertly deleted. “This editorial jugglery, may be good enough for domestic purposes, but the fact remains that neither Canada nor any other state can condone fundamentalism, violent extremism or terrorism, under international law,” the ex envoys stressed.
While slamming Trudeau for his unwarranted comments on the internal affairs of India and fanning the flames of anti-farm law protests, the letter pointed out that Canada has long been a critic of India’s Minimum Support Price (MSP) at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and therefore its critique of the farm laws was thus ironical. “Back home, encouraged by the Canadian support, the protestors have hardened their stance, adopting an all or nothing approach,” they clarified.
“Such blatant interference in India’s internal affairs to appease a section of the Liberal party’s voter base is completely unacceptable and cannot but cast a long shadow on bilateral relations. Such behaviour, against well-established diplomatic norms, is also bound to hurt Canada’s own standing in the world. It further carries the risk of other nations repaying Canada in the same token,” the letter concluded pointing out that bilateral relations cannot be one-sided.
We are all very worried: Justin Trudeau on farmer protests
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers have expressed his concerns over ongoing farmers’ protests in India. During the virtual Gurpurab 2020 celebration, PM Trudeau, at the beginning of his address, talked about the protests in India.
While talking about the protests, Trudeau said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t start also by recognizing the news coming out of India about the protests by farmers. The situation is concerning. And we all are very worried about family and friends; I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you. Canada will always be ready to defend the right to peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we reached out to multiple means directly to Indian authorities to highlight our concerns.”
India summons Canadian Ambassador, MEA slams Trudeau
Reacting to his comments, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava called the remarks ill-informed, saying, “We’ve seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. These are unwarranted especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country.”
The Canadian High Commissioner was also summoned on December 4 by the Ministry of External Affairs. He was informed that the remarks by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the farmers’ protest and also the comments of some of the cabinet ministers was unacceptable interference in India’s internal matter.