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Won’t review Sikh blacklist: Govt
Varinder Walia
Editor, Punjabi Tribune

Toronto, June 26
Tremendous pressure from the Sikh community notwithstanding, India today said it won’t review the ‘blacklist’ of radicals, who had taken political asylum in foreign countries, including Canada.

This assumes significance on the eve of two-day G-20 Summit, scheduled to begin here from tomorrow.

Immediately after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — accompanied by his wife, Gursharn Kaur — landed atToronto, the spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that there was no room for reviewing the blacklist of those who had indulged in anti-India activities, at least in the near future.

The Prime Minister Office (PMO) was under pressure from the Sikh community worldwide to allow the blacklisted persons to join the mainstream. President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Parmjit Singh Sarna had submitted a written request to the PMO that the representatives of the Sikhs should be invited by the PM in Toronto during his visit to find some solution to the longstanding demand of the community. The NRI Sikhs had also promised to suspend their proposed protest during Manmohan Singh’s visit if they were given time to discuss the matter. Around 100 blacklisted hardliners had taken political asylum in Canada, Germany, USA, UK and other countries. Some efforts were made to review the blacklist during the NDA government also.

The PM is unlikely to meet any representative of the hardliners due to his firm stand against international terrorism. Also, meeting radicals would send a wrong signal at this crucial juncture. Only two months ago, Manmohan Singh had conveyed his firm stand on the activities of separatist forces to his Canadian counterpart when they met in USA for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, the PM would be paying a visit to the memorial for Kaniskha victims on June 28.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the matter relating to extradition of five Sikh militants, whose names figured in the list of top 20 after attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001, could not be taken up during the bilateral talks between Foreign Secretary Nirupma Rao and her Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad recently.

Replying to another query, the spokesperson said Pakistan was likely to declare India as “Most Favoured Country” to promote import and export between the two neighbours.





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