There is some distrust in the relationship between India and UK, especially UK’s view on terrorism in South Asia, said outgoing Indian high commissioner to Britain, YK Sinha.
However, he added that overall the relationship between the two countries has signs of modern partnership.
According to a report published by the Hindustan Times, Sinha who scheduled to retire from Indian Foreign Service (IFS) after serving the country for 37 years in India and abroad added that the UK has suffered from terrorism and it should revisit its view on terrorism emanating from India’s neighbourhood.
Earlier, former British high commissioner to India Richard Stagg described the relation between two countries as being hit by lack of trust. However, Sinha said he would not move as far but opined that at present there is some lack of trust.
Known for his straight speeches, Sinha grabbed the attention in June last year in his ‘dose of realism’ address at a book launch programme where he stressed the need to address the issues which include allowing anti-Indian elements to function in the UK.
“There is much to be done. If you don’t recognise the problem of terrorism we face from our west, the epicentre of terrorism, there is not much that can be done. Allowing anti-India elements to flourish here in the name of democracy also will not do”, he said.
There are concerns over the angles through which Indians are viewed from the perspective of immigration besides perception in India that London is more supportive of Pakistan.
“Messaging is important. We don’t want the UK to suffer illegal immigrants but the figures mentioned are very doubtful. How far you want to go, five years, 10 years, or something like the Windrush generation? But visa should not be the defining issue”, Sinha said in an interview with Hindustan Times.
Sinha’s nearly 24-month long duration in the UK witnessed many key issues, including much interaction on the issue of Indian fugitives based in London, visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in April, and others.
Meanwhile, India is among some of the major economies the UK hopes to have free agreements in the post Brexit era with a push to exports from India.
Before his arrival in London, he was the high commissioner of India to Sri Lanka from June 2013 to December 2016. Prior to the same, he was additional secretary and headed the important Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division in India’s ministry of external affairs for almost four years.