Removing Khalistani Terrorism References Detrimental to India-Canada Ties, Warns Amarinder Singh

IANS
The Canadian Liberal Party has removed all references to Khalistani extremism in its 2018 report on terrorist threats, a decision the Punjab chief minister said was motivated by "domestic political pressure" in the run-up to elections in Canada.

Chandigarh: Accusing the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada of "succumbing to domestic political pressure to remove all references to Khalistani extremism in its 2018 report on terrorist threats", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday said the move was a threat to Indian and global security.

Singh expressed shock at the ruling Canadian Liberal Party's "knee-jerk decision that was clearly aimed at protecting its political interests in an election year", saying it could have serious consequences for India-Canadian relations in the long run.

"Trudeau is playing with fire with his decision to assuage inflamed domestic passions through this ill-considered move," he said.

Singh pointed out that he himself had given proof to the Canadian Prime Minister, during the latter's India visit in February last year, of Canada's soil being used to spread the separatist Khalistani ideology against a friendly country.

"Trudeau had been informed of Khalistani activists being involved in financing terror activities in India from Canada," he said.

"Pointing to the well-known fact that Trudeau's party was inundated by such activists and separatists, the chief minister dubbed the erasure of the various references to Khalistan and Khalistani organisations from the latest threat report as an unpardonable act in the eyes of the peace-loving global community," Singh's spokesperson said.

"Such an act amounted to endorsement of the terror activities and de facto promotion of extremism," Singh added, condemning outright the selective changes made by the Canadian government in its report on threats.

Only references with respect to Khalistan and related terms have been targeted by the Trudeau administration, he pointed out, adding that it appeared to be a clear case of the Canadian government giving in to political compulsions.

"It is obvious that Trudeau had played safe in view of the upcoming elections in Canada, giving in to pressure within his country. He has quite blatantly ignored the adverse impact this could have not only on Canada's relations with India but also on geopolitical stability," he added.

Singh warned the Canadian government against encouraging hardliners through such actions, which he said were detrimental to the interest of both India and Canada as well as the global community.

"The world cannot afford to fan extremism in any form, which is what the Trudeau government was effectively doing with such ill-thought moves," he said.