New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau New Delhi’s strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada as they are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
In his talks with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Modi also mentioned that a relationship based on “mutual respect and trust” is essential for the progress of India-Canada relationship, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
“The Prime Minister highlighted that India-Canada relations are anchored in shared democratic values, respect for rule of law and strong people-to-people ties,” it said.
“He conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship,” it said.
“The nexus of such forces with organized crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well. It is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats,” the MEA said in a statement.
In July, India summoned the Canadian envoy and issued a demarche over the increasing activities by pro-Khalistani elements in Canada, days after posters featuring names of India’s senior diplomats serving in Canada featured in some posters in certain areas in that country.
In June, a video emerged on social media that showed a float depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It was reportedly part of a parade that was organised by some Khalistani elements in Brampton.
Asked about India’s concerns over the increasing activities of the Khalistani elements in Canada, Trudeau said at a press conference that his country will always defend freedom of peaceful protest but at the same time asserted that it will always prevent violence and push back against hatred.
“Canada will always defend freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful protest and it is extremely important to us,” he said.
“At the same time, we are always there to prevent violence and to push back against hatred. I think on the issue of the community, it is important to remember that the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada,” Trudeau said.
There were instances of India complaining to Canadian authorities over incidents of security lapse at the Indian consulate in Vancouver.
A Canadian readout said Trudeau and Modi spoke about inclusive economic growth, support for low-and middle-income countries, and access to concessional finance for sustainable development.
“They noted the importance of welcoming the African Union as a member of the G20. Prime Minister Trudeau raised the importance of respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty,” it said.
In his comments to the media, the Canadian prime minister said India is an extraordinarily important economy and an important partner of Canada on a range of sectors including fighting climate change and creating economic growth.
“India is an extraordinarily important economy in the world and an important partner to Canada on everything from fighting climate change to creating growth and prosperity for the citizens,” he said.
The Canadian prime minister said both sides will continue to look at expansion of existing cooperation.
In a post on ‘X’, Modi said he and Trudeau discussed the full range of India-Canada ties across different sectors.