New Delhi, December 21, 2023:According to Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, India’s stance on Canada is unchanged because the country hopes Ottawa will take action against extremist elements abusing their freedom of speech and expression. This was stated on Thursday.
Speaking at a weekly media briefing on Thursday, Bagchi stated that Canada’s accommodation of radicals, terrorists, and anti-Indian elements continues to be the primary problem, as India has consistently emphasised.
Arindam Bagchi responded, “I’m not exactly sure how to answer it,” when asked about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments that he has noticed a shift in tone in India’s relations with Canada following the US’s disclosure of an alleged murder plot. In that regard, I would prefer not to remark on what the Canadian prime minister has said. However, I believe that whenever this has been brought up, our stance has been fairly constant.”
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Particularly, since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that India was complicit in the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, relations between the two countries have soured. Outright rejecting the accusations, India called them “absurd” and “politically motivated.”
“I think we have highlighted how we see the problem and frankly the core issue remains the space that is given to extremists and terrorists and anti-India elements in that country. I think you would heard also from External Affairs Minister recently as well as others about the developments of that case and the fact that if there’s something that we look into it but the core of it, the problem remains this. So I would like to say whether they have noted a shift or not. Certainly, our position has remained consistent and we would hope that they would take action on such extremist elements that are misusing the freedom of speech and expression in their country,” he added.
According to Canada-based CBC News, Trudeau stated that he thinks there may have been “a tonal shift” in the relationship between India and Canada in the days following the release of a US indictment that claimed there was a plot to kill India-designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on US soil.
According to CBC News, he stated that the Indian government appears to have taken a more serious stance as a result of the US indictment.
“I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they can’t bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before,” he said.
Trudeau said, “We don’t want to be in a situation of having a fight with India right now over this.”
“We want to be working on that trade deal. We want to be advancing the Indo-Pacific strategy. But it is foundational for Canada to stand up for people’s rights, for people’s safety, and for the rule of law. And that’s what we’re going to do,” CBC News quoted Trudeau as saying.