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'Canada harbours extremist elements', S Jaishankar says in US India-Canada row
S Jaishankar speaking at a forum in US/ courtesy: His X page

'Canada harbours extremist elements', S Jaishankar says in US

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 29 Sep 2023, 09:07 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: In another attack on Canada, which was called a safe haven for terrorists by the Centre last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said the country harbours extremist elements and that India has conveyed its concerns in this regard to the United States.

The comment comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week said that there are "credible allegations" that the Indian government was involved in the killing of Sikh terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia just last June.

Trudeau's allegation regarding Nijjar's killing has triggered a row between India and Canada.

Jaishankar made the comments in response to a question during a discussion at a think tank in Washington, DC, on Friday.

“India’s security related issues with Canada have preceded its PM Trudeau’s allegation. Our response to him both in private and public is what he was alleging is not consistent with our policy. And, that if his government had anything relevant and specific, we are open to looking at it,” S Jaishankar said during interaction with a US think-tank, Hudson Institute, on Friday after holding talks with both US Secretary of State Antony Blkinken and NSA Jake Sullivan.

“You have to appreciate that this this has been an issue of great friction for many years with Canada going back to the 80s. Then it became dormant. But in the last two years it has come back very much into play due to a very permissive Canadian attitude to terrorists, extremists and people who openly advocate violence. They have been given operating space because of compulsions of Canadian politics.

“I don’t think for most Americans, Canada doesn’t look different. For us it certainly is a country where organised crime from India is mixed with trafficking, violence, terrorism….it is a very toxic combination of issues and people who have found operating base there. So a lot of our tensions with Canada well preceded what Truedau said," Jaishankar said.

The Indian Foreign Minister said the Indian diplomamts are not safe in the embassies in Canada.

"Today I am in a situation where my diplomats are unsafe going to their embassy and consulates in Canada. They are publically intimidated. And that has actually compelled me to suspend even visa operations in Canada. Often countries look different depending on how you see them and what their interests are. But I have a problem with Canada,” he told Walter Mead, Hudson’s Distinguished Fellow.

He said that this was a “summary” of what he told Sullivan and Blinken too.

Earlier Trudeau said his nation is still committed to building closer ties with India despite repeating his already-made allegations.

Speaking at a press conference in Montreal, Trudeau was quoted as saying by the National Post that he thinks it is “extremely important” that Canada and its allies continue to engage “constructively and seriously” with India given its growing importance on the world stage.

“India is a growing economic power and important geopolitical player. And as we presented with our Indo-Pacific strategy, just last year, we’re very serious about building closer ties with India,” he told reporters.

“At the same time, obviously, as a rule of law country, we need to emphasize that India needs to work with Canada to ensure that we get the full facts of this matter," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

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