“I think we have made our position clear a couple of times.”
By: Melvin Samuel
India on Thursday reiterated its concern over certain forces planning a so-called referendum in Canada on their demand for Khalistan and called upon that country to prevent anti-India activities by individuals and groups based there.
It also urged Canada to designate as terrorists under its laws those individuals and entities who have been declared as terrorists under Indian laws.
Asked about the issue of the so-called Khalistan referendum in Canada, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “I think we have made our position clear a couple of times. Our position on the efforts by anti-India elements to hold a so-called Khalistan referendum is well known. It has been conveyed to the Canadian government both in New Delhi and in Canada.”
The government of Canada has conveyed that it respects India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will not recognise the so-called referendum, which is to take place in two parts in Canada, Bagchi said.
“The Canadian high commissioner here and their deputy foreign minister reiterated this perspective earlier this week in separate statements. However, let me also reiterate what we said earlier, which is that we find it deeply objectionable that politically-motivated exercises by extremist elements are allowed to take place in a friendly country, and you are all aware of the history of violence in this regard,” he added.
“We will continue to press the government of Canada in this matter. We call upon them to prevent anti-India activities by individuals and groups based in their country, and to designate as terrorists under their laws the individuals and entities who have been declared as terrorists under our laws,” the MEA official said.
The Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has proposed the so-called referendum in Mississauga, near Toronto, on November 6.
The first such exercise was held at Brampton on September 18.