Pressure on Canada to stop ‘Khalistan referendum’ failed, India confirms


LONDON: The government of Narendra Modi has expressed its protests and “concerns” to the Canadian government over the participation of tens of thousands of Canadian Sikhs in the Khalistan referendum organized last week in the city of Brampton by the pro- Khalistan, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ).

Geo and The News reported exclusively last week that relations between India and Canada were on the brink after India learned that all peaceful and legitimate activity by Canadian Sikhs would not be stopped and that the government Canadian would not get involved.

Today, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman, Arindam Bagchi, said India had raised serious concerns over the issue of the Khalistan referendum, held on September 18 in Brampton, Ontario, drawing huge crowds of Sikhs in a grand display of power.

India’s External Affairs Ministry called the SFJ-organized Khalistan referendum a “wacky exercise” and added that it had raised concerns with Canada about the use of its territory by ” politically motivated extremist elements.

Arindam Bagchi said India is deeply opposed to allowing “politically motivated exercises by extremist elements” to be allowed in a friendly country like Canada. “We would call this a wacky exercise. A wacky exercise was organized by extremists and radical elements supporting the so-called Khalistan referendum in Canada,” Bagchi said.

He said India has taken up the issue with the Canadian authorities and they have reiterated respect for India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “The matter was raised with Canadian authorities through diplomatic channels. The Government of Canada has reiterated that it respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and will not recognize the so-called referendum taking place in Canada,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“However, we find it deeply reprehensible that politically motivated exercises by extremist elements should be allowed to take place in a friendly country. You are all aware of the history of violence in this regard,” he added.

Bagchi said the Government of India will continue to pressure the Government of Canada on this. India has condemned the Khalistan referendum held in Brampton, Ontario in Canada. The voting exercise was organized by the pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ).

The Indian government had hoped few people would turn out to vote in the referendum, but video evidence that emerged from the community center in Gore showing queues of men and women lining up for the referendum, spanned more than five kilometers.

This correspondent had reported exclusively that the Indian government was very upset about the referendum. Now, the Indian press has confirmed that the Indian government has sent several diplomatic communications to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to stop the Khalistan referendum, but the Canadian government has replied to India that “in Canada, individuals have the right to assemble and express their opinions. as long as they do it peacefully and legally.

Indian media confirmed that the Narendra Modi government sent three diplomatic messages to Global Affairs Canada – OTT/POL/453/1/2022, August 31, 2022, OTT/POL/103/01/2022, September 14 and OTT/Pol /453/01/2022 – asking the Trudeau government to stop the “illegal referendum”.

The Hindustan Times reported that the Narendra Modi government is “closely monitoring the rise of Sikh radicalization, attacks and vandalism of symbols of the Hindu religion in the UK and Canada and assessing various options to send a terse message to both members of the Commonwealth community. ”

The newspaper said it was also monitoring how British security agencies were turning a blind eye to fundraising by pro-Khalistan Sikhs to “stir up the separatist movement”. The newspaper wrote, “The Modi government has decided not to drop anything and will respond in kind to these anti-India developments in both countries.”

Indian media have attacked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for denouncing Russia’s planned “referendums” in parts of Ukraine, but for turning a blind eye to the so-called “referendum” organized by the organization “Sikhs for Justice” in Brampton, Ontario.

India has also denounced the Canadian government for failing to speak out against the Khalistan referendum and its organizer Sikhs for Justice – an organization banned in India but operating legally across the world.

Last week, Geo News reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government said it could not prevent Canadian Sikhs from expressing their views through the Khalistan referendum vote as long as the process is peaceful, democratic and within the legal parameters of Canadian law.

The Canadian government has declared that Canadian nationals have full freedom to express their opinions in any way possible as long as it respects Canadian laws on the right to free speech and the right to freedom of expression and meeting.

India had attempted to exert diplomatic pressure on the Canadian government ahead of the September 18 referendum vote in Khalistan at the Gore Meadows Community Center in Brampton, Ontario.

When the vote took place on September 18, it completely challenged the view that Khalistan sentiment was relegated to a marginal element. In never-before-seen scenes, more than 100,000 people lined up to vote for the Khalistan referendum and succeeded in doing so. The SFJ said a new date will be announced soon to accommodate those who were unable to vote for the non-binding referendum.

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