New Delhi: India has again reiterated its concern over ‘Sikh hardliners’ planning a Khalistan referendum in Canada and called on Canadian government to stop anti-India activities in the country.
India urged Canada to designate individuals and entities that have been designated as terrorists under Indian laws as terrorists under its laws.
Asked about the issue of the Khalistan-related referendum in Canada on November 6, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We find it highly objectionable that politically motivated exercises are being allowed by extremist elements in a friendly country. You are all aware of the history of violence in this regard.”
“I think we have made our position clear many times. Our position on the so-called Khalistan referendum attempts by anti-India elements is well known. This has been conveyed to the Government of Canada both in New Delhi and Canada.”
“We will continue to put pressure on the Canadian government in this matter and call on them to stop anti-India activities by individuals and groups living in their country, and to designate individuals and entities declared terrorists under Indian law as terrorists under their law,” Bagchi said.
Sikhs for Justice was banned as an unlawful association in India in 2019. As part of its separatist agenda, the outfit runs a Punjab independence referendum campaign to create Khalistan.
Last September, it held a referendum in Brampton, Ontario, which was attended by more than 100,000 Canadian Sikhs. At that time too, India had reacted sharply, saying it was “highly objectionable” that radical and extremist elements were allowed to carry out such politically motivated activity in a friendly country.
India had also advised Indian citizens and students living in Canada to be vigilant, citing the increasing number of hate crimes and incidents related to anti-India activities in canada.
Bagchi said the Canadian government has informed that it respects India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will not recognise the so-called referendum in Canada in two phases.