NEW DELHI, India—The Indian government, ruled by BJP, a Hindu right wing party, on Tuesday flagged the issue of activities by pro-Independence or pro-Khalistan Sikh activists in Canada during the second India-Canada strategic dialogue here, expressing concern over the growing influence of the Khalistan activism. Taking up the issue with her Canadian counterpart John Baird, External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj said that “Khalistan elements” were misusing the soil of Canada for activities against India.
This was the first engagement between Ottawa and New Delhi after the Narendra Modi government assumed office in May.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the issue of “radicals” “(mis)using” the Canadian soil did figure during the periodic meetings between the Deputy National Security Advisers where information was shared on actions that New Delhi considered were detrimental to its interest. Over the past few years, India has been raising the issue during bilateral meetings both here and in Canada.
The Indian media claimed that the Canadian minister promised to curb the pro-Khalistan Sikh activists.
Sikh leaders have taken strong notice of the move and condemn it strongly. They said that there is nothing wrong with the peaceful struggle for the right to self-determination which is inscribed in the UN Universal Declaration of Human rights.