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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Dal Khalsa writes to Canadian PM

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, November 04, 2012
First Published: 23:35 IST(4/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:36 IST(4/11/2012)

Three days ahead of the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Dal Khalsa has sent him a memorandum, sharing with him its concerns and thoughts about Sikhs in India and Canada.

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In a communiqué faxed to the Canadian embassy, party head HS Dhami said there was no doubt that Sikh Canadians were proud participants in all walks of Canadian life, impacting the welfare of not only their own community but Canadian society too. He, however, rued that while Canada had responded to concerns of Sikhs residing there, it had largely remained oblivious to human rights violations in India, perhaps in deference to its financial and business interests here.

The letter further states that the solidarity of the Sikhs worldwide during the weeks following the killings of Sikhs in Wisconsin, USA, has adequately pressed the point home that Sikhs are an international community and their concerns transgress geographical boundaries and that respective governments must acknowledge this while dealing with Sikhs and their issues.

Dhami said the media reports suggest that Indian authorities were preparing to "corner you by discussing Sikh-Canadians who raise voice against human rights violations in India and those who are steadfast in their commitment to Sikh self-rule". Cautioning the visiting leader, he said, "We hope and pray that you would not commit the same faux pas which your foreign minister did when he visited India sometime back."

The radical Sikh party extended a warm welcome to him during his visit to Punjab and touching upon his proposed visit to Anandpur Sahib and Chandigarh on November 7, the letter said their organisation was happy that the Canadian Prime Minister would discuss bilateral trade with the leadership of Punjab. The Canadian government should explore more educational ties between Canadian universities and those in Punjab, read the memo.

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