New Delhi, September 10
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s strong concerns about the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada that were promoting secessionism, inciting violence against its diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
In his talks with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit, PM Modi also mentioned that a relationship based on “mutual respect and trust” was essential for the progress of the India-Canada relationship, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. Trudeau cut a slightly forlorn figure as compared to his high-profile presence at other multilateral events. His loneliness was accentuated after South Block talked tough and did not appreciate Trudeau’s near dismissal of Khalistani separatist activity by stating during media interaction that it was a “small group” of people and that Ontario would continue to safeguard “freedom of expression”.
“At the same time, we are always there to prevent violence and push back against hatred. I think on the issue of the community, it is important to remember that the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada,” Trudeau added.
Before his Sunday bilateral with PM Modi, Trudeau was not spotted at the President’s gala dinner on Saturday, and he also missed the opportunity to be in the limelight during the launch of the Global Bio-Fuels Alliance by US President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, PMs Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina, besides other leaders. PM Modi’s frosty handshake when he met for a “pull-aside” with Trudeau was also noticed as compared to the warmth he showed while meeting other leaders.
“PM Modi highlighted that India-Canada relations were anchored in shared democratic values, respect for rule of law and strong people-to-people ties,” said the MEA.
“The nexus of such (anti-India) forces with organised crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well. It is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats, the statement said.
The Canadian PM said India was an important partner in a range of sectors.
“India is an extraordinarily important economy in the world and an important partner to Canada on everything from fighting climate change to creating growth and prosperity for the citizens,” he said. In a post on ‘X’, PM Modi said they discussed the full range of India-Canada ties across different sectors.
(With PTI inputs)
The actions of few do not represent the entire community or Canada. — Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM
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