EAM Jaishankar takes dig at Canada, says freedom of speech cannot be freedom to support separatism and terrorism in foreign country

New Delhi: Targeting the Justin Trudeau government for giving refuge to pro-Khalistani elements, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar on Thursday said that further deterioration in bilateral ties would eventually result in a big loss for Canada.

“Freedom of speech cannot be freedom to advocate violence, freedom of speech cannot be freedom to support separatism and terrorism in a foreign country. It cannot be… A group of Khalistanis have been misusing Canada’s freedom laws for years. But when the Canadian government has any political compulsions, they accommodate these people who are also their vote bank,” said the EAM while speaking at ‘Vishwabandhu Bharat’ interaction in Nashik, Maharashtra.

As pro-Khalistani elements continue to indulge in anti-India activities, New Delhi has conveyed to Ottawa on several occasions that democratic countries which respect the rule of law should not allow intimidation by radical elements in the name of freedom of expression.

“Our relations have been spoiled today because of the activities of these people who are even threatening our Ambassador and various diplomats posted in the country. They threw smoke bombs inside the High Commission and, at one time, our diplomats were facing great difficulty to get out of the building. People who supported terror activities against India have been given refuge in Canada. The government there should have a relook at the entire situation,” he asserted.

Earlier this month, India reacted strongly to pro-Khalistani elements taking centrestage, shouting anti-India slogans and displaying objectionable posters against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a ‘Nagar Kirtan’ parade organised in Canada’s Malton.

Urging the Canadian government led by Trudeau to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven and political space in the country, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that celebration and glorification of violence should not be a part of any civilised society.

“We have tried to make them understand this many times that deterioration in bilateral ties will also be a big loss for them. These people who have been given refuge in Canada are criminals who have also taken their gang warfare to the country now. They should understand it well by now as some people are taking full advantage of it,” he said in Nashik.


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