Global implication of row with Canada is awareness of nexus between separatism and organised crime: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar says violent acts by separatists can be linked to terrorism, extremism

Updated - October 01, 2023 07:05 am IST

Published - September 30, 2023 08:40 pm IST - Washington DC

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addresses a press conference in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2023.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addresses a press conference in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

In discussing whether a diplomatic falling out between New Delhi and Ottawa, following the killing of Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June this year, would have global impact, including the U.K., External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar focused on what he called a heightened awareness of the nexus between separatism and organised crime. His remarks were made, presumably hours after Indian diplomats were reportedly prevented from entering a gurdwara in Scotland on Friday, but before the news spread. 

New Delhi does not want the situation with Canada to complicate ties with the UK, where Khalistani activity has been a concern, The Hindu had reported.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused India of killing Mr. Nijjar , an allegation denied by the government.

Asked by The Hindu about the impact of the killing of Mr. Nijjar (Ottawa has accused New Delhi of masterminding this) as well as the diplomatic difficulties between India and Canada on other centres of heightened Khalistani activity, specifically the U.K., the Minister did not draw a clear linkage beyond pointing to an increased awareness of the nexus between separatism and organised crime. 

| Video Credit: Sriram Lakshman

“Your first question has a subtle or not so subtle assumption with which I disagree,” Mr. Jaishankar told The Hindu on Friday during a press conference at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC.

“So, for me, there have been acts of violence in Canada,” Mr. Jaishankar said, adding that the consequence of violent acts was to heighten the the awareness about the nexus today between separatists, those trafficking in people and organised crime.

“So I think that’s really where your impact question should be directed at,” he said.

“So if you’re asking me are there other centres of crime in other countries? Well, I don’t know. The workings of terrorists, extremists and organised crime is something which... I’m not quite sure whether they go by by replicating examples,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

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