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'Indians don't speak in public until a deal finalises': New Delhi rejects UK media report over FATF halt

According to the sources of the news agency, India called the UK media report "baseless" and claimed Indians don't speak in public until a deal has been reached.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: April 10, 2023 17:17 IST
Indian flag raised at the Indian High Commission in London.
Image Source : AP Indian flag raised at the Indian High Commission in London.

India on Monday rejected a UK media report that claimed New Delhi halted talks concerning a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom following attacks on Indian High Commission in London last month.

According to the sources of the news agency ANI, India called the report "baseless" and claimed Indians don't speak in public until a deal has been reached. 

The critical remarks from Indian officials came after London-based newspaper The Times in its April 10 edition citing senior British government sources reported that the Indian government has "disengaged" from trade talks and made it clear that there would be no progress "without a public condemnation of the Khalistan movement."

What happened last month?

The India-UK Free Trade Agreement talks were launched on June 17, 2022. "Indians don't want to talk about trade until they get a very public demonstration of the condemnation of Khalistan extremism in the UK," The Times quoted a British official statement saying.

On March 19 this year, protesters holding Khalistan banners staged a demonstration outside the High Commission in London. One of the protestors climbed up its balcony and pulled down the Indian national flag of India.

The protest was being held to denounce the recent police action in Punjab. In a video of the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, a protestor is seen on the balcony attempting to bring down the Indian flag. At the end of the video, another man is seen reaching the balcony and wrestling the Tricolour back from the Khalistan supporter.

UK Foreign Secretary condemns attack

Earlier today, a spokesperson of the UK Department for Business and Trade, said, "Both the UK and India are committed to delivering an ambitious and mutually beneficial FTA and concluded the latest round of trade talks last month. 

Condemning the recent attack on IHC, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, "We are working with the Metropolitan Police to review security and make changes to ensure the safety of its staff." 

Also Read: Amritpal Singh's close aide Papalpreet arrested from Punjab

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