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India asks Canada to curb Sikh separatists

Two months before the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Air-India flight Kanishka, India has asked Canada to monitor surging activities of Sikh separatists in that country when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper.

world Updated: Apr 13, 2010 09:09 IST

Two months before the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Air-India flight Kanishka, India has asked Canada to monitor surging activities of Sikh separatists in that country when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper.

In his 30-minute meeting with Harper on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit at Walter E. Washington Convention Centre on Monday evening, Manmohan Singh conveyed his concerns over the surge in activities of Sikh separatists in Canada who are trying to revive militancy in Punjab.

Manmohan Singh conveyed India's continuing concerns over the activities of terrorist organisations in that country, Vishnu Prakash, the spokesperson of India's external affairs ministry, told journalists here after the talks.

Manmohan Singh hoped that the Canadian government will curb and monitor the activities of these organizations, said Prakash.

India has been watching warily a marked resurgence of pro-Khalistan elements in Canada recently and has alerted the Canadian authorities about it many a time.

Last month, India's Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken told the Indian parliament that Sikh militant groups, especially those based abroad, continue to persist with their efforts to revive militancy in Punjab. He added that the government is maintaining a close watch on such outfits.

Outfits like the Babbar Khalsa International, International Sikh Youth Federation, Khalistan Commando Force and Khalistan Zindabad Force continue to be banned under India's Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004.

Recently, the Indian high commission in Ottawa raised the issue of rising activities of Sikh separatist Khalistan movement in Canada with the Candian government. Canada is one of the few countries, according to the Indian government, where pro-Khalistani elements are becoming active once again.

India also is concerned at attempts by some elements to de-list the banned organizations such as the Babbar Khalsa in Canada.

Besides airing concerns over the activities of anti-India terrorist organisations, Manmohan Singh also discussed with Harper the forthcoming G20 summit Canada will host in June this year.

Harper sought Manmohan Singh's views on the G20 summit and the need for promoting balanced and sustainable growth, said Prakash.

The two leaders also expressed satisfaction at the finalization of a nuclear deal in November last year and hoped it will be signed when Manmohan Singh goes to Canada for the G20 summit.