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Posted at: Aug 20, 2018, 1:42 AM; last updated: Aug 20, 2018, 1:42 AM (IST)

UK distances itself from Khalistan rally

London, August 19

The UK Government has distanced itself from the pro-Khalistan rally organised by Sikh separatist groups in London’s Trafalgar Square earlier this month.

The so-called ‘London Declaration on Referendum 2020’ rally, organised by the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) on August 12, triggered a diplomatic row as India had warned the UK to take bilateral ties into consideration before allowing groups that “propagate violence, secessionism and hatred” to demonstrate.

“Although we allowed the protest to take place, this should not be taken as expressing a view either in support or against. We are clear that this is a question for the people and Government of India,” a UK Government source said.

The comment followed reports of letters exchanged between the SFJ and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the “campaign for Sikh self-determination”.

Turning down the prospect of a “short meeting” sought by the SFJ with UK representatives to raise concerns of the Sikhs, the FCO said it “encouraged all involved parties to resolve any differences through dialogue”. — PTI

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