External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NSA Jake Sullivan earlier on Thursday, said he had spoken about the ongoing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada with the duo and asserted Canada's attitude towards terrorism has been permissive.
"They shared US views and assessments on this whole situation... I think hopefully we both came out of those meetings better and forward," said Jaishankar during an interactive session at Hudson Institute on ‘India’s role in a New Pacific Order’.
"This has been an issue of great, friction for many years with Canada. But in the last few years, it has come back, very much into play, because of what we consider to be a very permissive Canadian attitude towards terrorists, extremist people who openly advocate violence. And they have been given operating space in Canada because of the compulsions of Canadian politics," he said.
India wants to see proof: Jaishankar to Trudeau
While speaking at Hudson University, Jaishankar underscored that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had initially levelled allegations privately and then publically from the House of Commons and added India too replied to the allegations in the same manner.
Notably, Trudeau, while addressing the Canadian Parliament last week, alleged that Indian agents were involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In fact, Trudeau claimed Ottawa has "credible inputs" about New Delhi's involvement in the killing. Further, he reiterated that if Ottawa had any proof or specific information, New Delhi was very keen to look into it.
"If he (PM Trudeau) had, or his government had anything relevant and specific they would like us to look into, we were open to looking at it. Now, that's where that conversation is at this point in time," stressed Jaishankar.
Jaishankar raises concerns over threats posed by Khalistani
Further, he opened up about the visa suspension during the conversation where he stressed that Ottawa has become a hub for organised crime from India and added this has now mixed with human trafficking, secessionism, violence and terrorism.
Jaishankar further underscored that Canada has allowed extremists who were involved in anti-India activities. Notably, his comments came in the backdrop of recent death threats given by Khalistani terrorists to Indian diplomats in Ottawa.
"For us, it has certainly been a country where, organized crime from India, mixed with trafficking in people, mixed with secessionism, violence, terrorism. It's a very toxic combination of issues and people, who have found operating space there... Today, I'm actually in a situation where my diplomats are unsafe going to the embassy, or to the consulate in Canada. They are publicly intimidated. And that has actually compelled me to temporarily suspend even visa operations in Canada," he said.