We Condemn In Strongest Terms: MEA On Khalistani Posters
In response to recent incidents of several posters inciting violence against Indian diplomats and the diplomatic premises, the Ministry of External Affairs has said that it is “unacceptable” and India condemns them in the strongest terms.
Addressing a regular press briefing on Thursday, the official spokesperson of MEA, Arindam Bagchi said, “You must have seen posters inciting violence against the Indian diplomats. Our sense is that…these posters inciting violence against our diplomats and our diplomatic premises brought are unacceptable and we condemn them in the strongest terms. With respect to Canada, the matter has been strongly taken with the Canadian authorities, both in New Delhi and in Ottawa.”
He said that New Delhi has called on the Canadian government to ensure the safety of Indian diplomats.
“We have called on the government of Canada to take all steps to ensure the safety of our diplomats and security of our diplomatic missions in Canada,” Bagchi said, adding that it is a matter of concern that freedom of expression and speech is once again being misused by the anti-India elements based in Canada.
“It is a matter of concern that freedom of expression and speech is once again being misused by the anti-India elements based in Canada and elsewhere. We continue to press the Canadian side to ensure our diplomats can carry out their normal functions without fear and intimidation,” Bagchi added.
In the past couple of months, three major anti-India incidents involving Khalistani separatists have been reported in Canada.
Calling Canada an “extremely diverse country,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country will make sure that violence and extremism are pushed back in all its forms.
Trudeau refuted allegations that he is soft on terrorist elements. His statement comes after India summoned Canadian High Commissioner in New Delhi over propaganda material, including posters, containing threats to Indian diplomats being circulated in Canada and has served a demarche to the Justin Trudeau government.
Responding to media queries on reports about comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the MEA spokesperson said, “We have seen some comments .. at least the media reports about comments by PM Trudeau but let me make the larger point, that the issue is not about freedom of expression but its misuse for advocating violence for propagating separatism and for legitimising terrorism..and that is what we would like to emphasize.”
He also said that there have been similar situations where these kinds of threats have been given in other countries as well.
Bagchi said, “We have also had instances, situations where these kinds of threats have also taken place, be it the US, Australia, the UK, to name a few. You would have seen External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar himself mention in the context of Prime Minister Trudeau’s comments.”
Quoting External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Bagchi said that “he strongly believes that the country should not pander to vote-bank politics.”
Furthermore, he also spoke on the recent remarks by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly after posters emerged of a pro-Khalistan rally in London on July 8.
Bagchi said, “We have seen comments by UK Foreign Secretary, as you are aware, we have had problems with the security of our mission in London. We have taken up the issue of this threat against our diplomats with the UK authorities. We have noted these comments by the UK authorities but we will naturally judge them by what happens on the ground in the name of freedom of expression. We should not be giving space to those who advocate violence, propagate separatism or legitimise terrorism.”
“We have noted posters circulated in other countries, also as I mentioned,” Bagchi added.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Thursday said that any direct attacks on Indian High Commission in London are “completely unacceptable.”
He said the UK has made clear to the High Commissioner of India to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami and the Indian government that the safety of staff at the High Commission is paramount.
“Any direct attacks on the Indian High Commission in London are completely unacceptable. We have made clear to @VDoraiswami and the Government of India that the safety of staff at the High Commission is paramount,” Cleverly said in a tweet.
The rally is being held in the name of Harjit Singh Nijjar aka Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistani terrorist who was killed in a targeted shooting in Canada’s Surrey on June 18. The posters contained threats to the Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami and Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India, Birmingham.
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis also responded to Cleverly’s tweet and said the UK government attaches importance to the safety of friends and colleagues. (ANI)
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