Shashi Tharoor 'surprised, disappointed' by Trudeau; ‘…should not get out of control’

Sep 21, 2023 07:27 PM IST

While Shashi Tharoor expressed concerns, Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal met Amit Shah to discuss India-Canada developments.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said the present situation of the India-Canada relationship is not healthy and the deterioration needs to be halted without letting it get out of control any further. "I am very surprised and disappointed by the Canadian Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) making a public allegation of this nature. If they had evidence, they should have prosecuted the killers in a court of law," Shashi Tharoor said. The tit-for-tat moves by both sides indicate an unhealthy situation as India's political interests dictate that it should have healthy relationships with all countries of the world. "I don't quite understand why the apparent need on Canada's part to cater to a particular political lobby in that country has resulted in their publicly putting their entire relationship with India in peril," Shashi Tharoor said.

Shashi Tharoor said the deteriorating situation of India-Canada relationships should not be allowed to get out of hand.
Shashi Tharoor said the deteriorating situation of India-Canada relationships should not be allowed to get out of hand.

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The frosty ties between India and Canada reached another low on Thursday after India's visa processing centre in Canada suspended services citing 'operational reasons' amid the ongoing rift that started after Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. After the public allegation, both India and Canada expelled diplomats and then India issued an advisory for Indians in Canada urging them to exercise utmost caution.

Kind of extremism that doesn't exist in India: Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor said Canada should be conscious of the dangers of importing a kind of extremism that does not exist in India any more. “And I think that once Canada has unleashed this, they should be very conscious of the dangers they're provoking, including, for importing a kind of extremism that doesn't exist in India anymore in Punjab, into their country instead, which is very, very unfortunate. So I would urge the Canadians to also take a deep breath and rethink what they're doing..” Tharoor said.

Given the huge number of Indians living in Canada, the plunge in the India-Canada ties has become a domestic political issue as well. Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal meeting Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday.

"This is having a huge effect on (India-Canada relations)...Sikhs are being associated with terrorism, a wrong impression is being created, and this needs to stop. The governments of India and Canada should find a solution soon. The relationship between the two countries (India & Canada) needs to be settled at the top level. People of the nation should not suffer because of this. I am writing a letter to the PM because this needs to be settled as soon as possible. If it goes out of hand, it will affect a lot of Indians especially Sikhs and people of Punjab," Badal said.

'Immigrants to Canada focussing on how to damage India'

In an interview with ANI, Tharoor said there has been a lot of frustration from the Indian side. "...We are now seeing a new phenomenon where immigrants to Canada have become Canadian citizens but are not doing anything in Canadian politics. They're focusing on how to actually do damage to their country of origin. To my mind, that is a very dangerous development. And, Canada really has to examine its own approach to these people. It's all very well to claim outrage that a citizen has been killed in Canada. In any case, there is, as far as I'm aware, no evidence that any Indian government body had anything to do with it because we know that, unfortunately, this fringe terrorist group has a number of factions... So, my own view is that could have been any other explanation for what happened. In any case, whatever's happening, why their own citizens are allowed with impunity to behave in this manner, threatening the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and good, interests of a friendly country. There's something only the Canadians can answer."

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