External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Canada Driven By Vote-Bank Politics: Jaishankar On Khalistani Activities

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Reacting to the rise in ‘Khalistani’ activities in Canada, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Ottawa seems to be driven by “vote-bank politics” and this has also impacted the ties between the two countries lately.

He was speaking at a town hall meeting at the India International Centre, here in the national capital.
Speaking to the reporters, Jaishankar said, “How Canada has dealt with the Khalistani issue is a longstanding issue for us, because very frankly, they seem to be driven by vote bank politics. Their responses have been constrained by what they regard as vote bank compulsions. We made it very clear that if there are activities which are permitted from Canada that impinge on our sovereignty, territorial integrity and our security, then we will have to respond”.

“It is something which is a continuing conversation with Canada, not always satisfactory, but something on which we have been very clear. And over the last few years, you can see that this has impacted our ties in many ways,” he added.

Notably, there has been a rise in Khalistan activities in Canada lately.

Earlier this month, a tableau parade was organised in Ontario celebrating the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi, which drew severe criticism from New Delhi.

In March this year, Khalistan supporters protested outside the Indian Embassy in Canada. They raised pro-Khalistan slogans and allegedly assaulted Indian-origin journalists present on the spot.

Khalistan supporters in March, protested outside the Indian Embassy in Canada. They raised pro-Khalistan slogans and allegedly assaulted Indian-origin journalists present on the spot.

Speaking further, Jaishankar hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the United States, and added that India is also focussing on concluding the free trade agreements with Europe.

“Today, it is a very polarised world, and the global stage is so much more challenging. Our relations with the United States are exceptionally well. We have had the most productive visit in history,” the EAM said.

He added, “We have moved into a positive domain with the US for shaping the world for common purposes. The attention being given to Europe is remarkable. The big issue before us is concluding the free trade agreement, but we are more hopeful than we have been in past”.

The EAM further added that the India-Russia ties have remained steady despite all the turbulence.

“Our relations with Russia have been kept steady despite all turbulence. We have made our own evaluation over the years regarding the importance of this. It is a mistake to dumb down ties with Russia to just defence dependences. We have an upswing in the economic part of our relations with Russia,” he said. (ANI)

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