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'India will respond if Canada's Khalistani movement impinge our national interests': Jaishankar

EAM Jaishankar acknowledged that the Khalistani issue has impacted the ties between the two nations in the last few years, besides the Khalistani movement.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Published on: June 28, 2023 23:34 IST
EAM S Jaishankar addressing an event in New Delhi
Image Source : @DRSJAISHANKAR/TWITTER EAM S Jaishankar addressing an event in New Delhi

Amid soaring tension between India and Canada, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in staunch words said New Delhi will respond if the ongoing Khalistani activities in Ottawa impinge on its national security and integrity. While speaking at an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, the minister claimed Canada's response to the Khalistani issue appeared to be constrained by its "vote bank compulsions". EAM Jaishankar acknowledged that the Khalistani issue has impacted the ties between the two nations in the last few years, besides the Khalistani movement.

India has been asking Canada against giving space to pro-Khalistani separatists and extremist elements. "For us how Canada has dealt with the Khalistani issue has been a long-standing concern. Because very frankly, they seem to be driven by vote-bank politics," Jaishankar said. "Their responses have all been, to the best of my understanding, actually constrained by what they regard as vote bank compulsions," he said.

India clears its staunch stance

The external affairs minister said it made it clear to Canada that if the activities there impinge on India's national security, it will respond. "We made it very clear and I have done so in public, which is that if there are activities which are permitted from Canada that impinge on our sovereignty, territorial integrity and security, then we will have to respond," he said.

"It is something which is a continuing conversation with Canada; not always a satisfactory conversation but it is something on which we are very very clear.

You can see that in many ways in the last few years, it has impacted our ties," he said.

Earlier this month, India slammed Canada after visuals surfaced on social media of a float in Brampton that reportedly celebrated the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

India-Pakistan ties cannot allow terrorism to be normalised

On India's ties with Pakistan, Jaishankar said New Delhi cannot allow terrorism to be normalised. He said it is not possible for India to have normal relations with Pakistan until the policy of cross-border terrorism is abrogated. "We can't allow terrorism to be normalised; we can not allow that to become the basis for getting us into discussions with Pakistan. To me it is a fairly common sense proposition," he said.

"I am still a little perplexed as to why we had not arrived at this position earlier. But we have arrived at it now. The issue really is that until there is an abrogation of this policy of cross-border terrorism, clearly it is not possible to have a normal relationship with that particular nation," Jaishankar said.

He said SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) cannot function until one member nation changes its policy on terrorism, adding "We can't have terror by night and trade by day".

Also Read: India's savage reply to Canada's allegations of interfering in internal matters: 'Ulta chor kotwal ko daante'

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