Canada always takes 'serious action' against terrorism: PM Trudeau on pro-Khalistan elements

Mr. Trudeau remarks came days after India summoned the Canadian envoy in New Delhi on Monday and issued a demarche over the increasing activities by pro-Khalistani elements in Canada

Published - July 07, 2023 03:49 am IST - Ottawa

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 6 said that Canada has always taken "serious action" against terrorism and it will continue to do so as he asserted that it is "wrong" to believe his government is soft on Khalistan supporters and terrorists in the country.

His remarks came days after India summoned the Canadian envoy in New Delhi on Monday and issued a demarche over the increasing activities by pro-Khalistani elements in Canada. His remarks also came two days ahead of proposed pro-Khalistan rally outside the Indian High Commission in Ottawa on July 8.

"They are wrong. Canada has always taken extremely seriously violence and threats of violence. We have always taken serious action against terrorism and we always will," Mr. Trudeau said while responding to a question during a press conference.

He was asked about a parade float in the Greater Toronto Area last month that depicted former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination.

Khalistan supporters, marking the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, put up a tableau of late Prime Minister with blood on her clothes and a poster that read, “Revenge of attack on Shri Darbar Sahib”.

Recently, provocative pro-Khalistani posters labelling some senior Indian diplomats as "killers" sparked outrage across India.

"We have an extremely diverse country and freedom of expression is something that we have but we will always make sure that we are pushing back against violence and extremism in all its forms," Mr. Trudeau said.

It is learnt that India has asked the Canadian authorities to take appropriate measures in view of planned protests by pro-Khalistan groups outside Indian missions in Canada on July 8.

Canada on Tuesday assured India of the safety of its diplomats, a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India has asked its partner countries such as Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. not to give space to "extremist Khalistani ideology" as it is "not good" for relations.

Mr. Jaishankar, when asked about reports of Khalistani posters in Canada naming Indian diplomats, told reporters in New Delhi on Monday that the "radical, extremist Khalistani ideology" is not good for India or its partner countries such as the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

A statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Tuesday termed the “promotional material” circulating ahead of the Khalistan rally "unacceptable".

Ms. Joly, in the statement highlighting Canada's adherence to the Vienna Conventions, said: "Canada takes its obligations under the Vienna Conventions regarding the safety of diplomats very seriously." Joly also emphasised that the actions of a few individuals "do not speak for an entire community or Canada".

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