Khalistan Slogans At Event Attended By Trudeau, India Summons Canada Envoy

Khalistan Slogans At Event Attended By Trudeau, India Summons Canada Envoy

New Delhi on Monday summoned Canadian Deputy High Commissioner over raising of separatist slogans on ‘Khalistan’ at an event addressed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, underlining that it impacts the relations between the two countries and encourages “climate of violence”.

“The Government of India’s deep concern and strong protest was conveyed at such disturbing actions being allowed to continue unchecked at the event. This illustrates once again the political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism and violence,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

“Their continued expressions not only impact India-Canada relations but also encourage a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens,” the statement added.

As PM Trudeau walked up to the stage for his address to mark Khalsa Day, the chants of ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ kept getting louder, showed a video released by Canada-based CPAC TV.

It happened again when Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre walked up to the stage to begin his address. New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow were also present at the event.

Thousands of people flocked to downtown Toronto on Sunday for one of the biggest yearly gatherings in the city.

In his address, Trudeau, who has angered India with allegations that it was involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar last year, also vowed to always protect the rights and freedoms of Sikhs in Canada and defend the community against hatred and discrimination.

India has rejected the Canadian government’s allegations as “absurd and motivated.” India accuses Ottawa of harbouring Sikh separatists.

Days after Trudeau’s allegations, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity. Subsequently, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

India has been asserting that its “core issue” with Canada remained that of the space given to separatists, terrorists and anti-India elements in that country.

Following Trudeau’s allegations last year, India temporarily suspended issuance of visas to Canadian citizens. The visa services were resumed several weeks later.

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