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'Space given to terrorists': India to Canada after Justin Trudeau's ‘tonal shift’ dig

Dec 21, 2023 10:09 PM IST

Trudeau on Wednesday said he felt a tonal shift in relations with India since the US accused government officials of plotting the murder of a separatist.

New Delhi: A day after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau took the "tonal shift" jibe at India, New Delhi on Thursday said the core issue with Canada is that it gives space to separatists, terrorists and anti-India elements.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi addresses a press conference in New Delhi.

"Our position has been consistent. We have highlighted how we see the problem and frankly, the core issue remains the space that is given to extremists, terrorists and anti-India elements in that country," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said today.

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Trudeau on Wednesday said he felt a tonal shift in relations with India since the United States accused Indian government officials of plotting the murder of separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

"I would not like to say whether they have noted a shift or not. Certainly, our positions have remained consistent and we would hope that they would take action on such extremist elements that are misusing freedom of speech and expression from their country," Bagchi added.

India and Canada's ties hit rock bottom when Trudeau accused Indian agents of conspiring to kill Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia. India rejected the charges as absurd.

Also read: ‘Attacking Canada won't…': Justin Trudeau claims 'tonal shift' in India relations after US plot row

"I think there is a beginning of an understanding that they cannot bluster their way through this and there is an openness to collaborating in a way that perhaps they were less open before," Trudeau said on Wednesday.

"There is an understanding that maybe, maybe just churning out attacks against Canada is not going to make this problem go away. We do not want to be in a situation of having a fight with India right now over this," Trudeau added.

Trudeau was referring to the US indictment accusing a man named Nikhil Gupta of working with Indian government employees to plot Pannun's murder. The US said it foiled the alleged plan.

On December 7, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament that India has instituted an inquiry committee to look into the inputs received from the US.

He, however, said Canada's allegations won't get "equitable treatment" as it had not provided any evidence to back its allegations.

With inputs from PTI, ANI

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