Khalistani extremism: Talks on with counter-terrorism group, says Canadian foreign ministry - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Khalistani extremism: Talks on with counter-terrorism group, says Canadian foreign ministry

Feb 20, 2024 06:34 AM IST

Ottawa is aware that concerns over Khalistani extremism and transnational crime are “top of the mind” for New Delhi and exchanges on this matter are ongoing with a Canada-India counter-terrorism working group expected to meet soon, a senior official of the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the country’s foreign ministry, has said

Toronto : Ottawa is aware that concerns over Khalistani extremism and transnational crime are “top of the mind” for New Delhi and exchanges on this matter are ongoing with a Canada-India counter-terrorism working group expected to meet soon, a senior official of the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the country’s foreign ministry, has said.

Ottawa is aware that concerns over Khalistani extremism and transnational crime are “top of the mind” for New Delhi and exchanges on this matter are ongoing with a Canada-India counter-terrorism working group expected to meet soon, a senior official of the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the country’s foreign ministry, has said.
Ottawa is aware that concerns over Khalistani extremism and transnational crime are “top of the mind” for New Delhi and exchanges on this matter are ongoing with a Canada-India counter-terrorism working group expected to meet soon, a senior official of the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the country’s foreign ministry, has said.

That was stated during the course of testimony from Weldon Epp, assistant deputy minister for the Indo-Pacific, before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development earlier this month.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Epp said that “the premise is correct that concerns about Khalistani extremism and transnational crime are top of mind for the Indian government.” In this context, he said the two countries “had long-standing exchanges on this matter, and in some cases we’ve been able to advance those exchanges through structures. For example, we have an ongoing, GAC-led, Canada-India counterterrorism working group. That group will be meeting again soon,” according to a video of the testimony posted on the Standing Committee’s webpage.

The senior Indian official confirmed that meeting is expected in April and the details for it are being worked out.

“India has raised particular concerns around Canada-based Khalistani violent extremism. We have made our position clear: Canada supports the unity and territorial integrity of India. While Canadians are free to peacefully express their views, if crimes are committed in Canada, we expect law enforcement to act regardless of who the perpetrator is,” Epp said.

The session, On February 5, was a ‘Briefing on Diplomatic Relations between Canada and India’ and the focus was the challenge ties were facing following their cratering after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons on September 18 last year that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar three months earlier.

In fact, the secessionist group Nijjar was associated with, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), organised protests outside India’s consulates in Toronto and Vancouver on Saturday to mark the fifth month of the killing.

Epp described as a “positive development” India constituting a high-level inquiry into the allegations in an indictment unsealed in a New York court over an attempt to kill SFJ’s general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun. Epp felt it was “reasonable to assume that, when the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) investigation reaches a comparable inflection point here in Canada, more information will be available for the Indian government and its high-level committee to consider.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On