Canada seems to be driven by vote-bank politics: Jaishankar reacts to Khalistani activities

29 June, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Canada National

There has recently been a surge in Khalistan-related activity in Canada ranging from objectionable tableau on former PM Indira Gandhi to violent Protests in front Indian Embassy in March this year.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar responded to the increase in “Khalistani” activities in Canada by saying that Ottawa appears to be motivated by “vote-bank politics” and that this has recently harmed the relations between the two nations.

Jaishankar was speaking at a town hall meeting at India International Centre in the national capital. When addressing the media, Jaishankar stated “How Canada has dealt with the Khalistani issue is a longstanding issue for us, because very frankly, they seem to be driven by vote bank politics. Their responses have been constrained by what they regard as vote bank compulsions. We made it very clear that if there are activities which are permitted from Canada that impinge on our sovereignty, territorial integrity and our security, then we will have to respond”.

“It is something which is a continuing conversation with Canada, not always satisfactory, but something on which we have been very clear. And over the last few years, you can see that this has impacted our ties in many ways,” he added.

From Indira Gandhi’s tableau to attacks on Indian-origin journalists, Canada sees rise in Pro-Khalistani activity

Notably, there has recently been a surge in Khalistan-related activity in Canada. An Ontario tableau procession celebrating the death of former prime minister Indira Gandhi earlier this month brought harsh rebuke from New Delhi.

Supporters of Khalistan protested in front of the Indian Embassy in Canada in March of this year. They shouted “pro-Khalistan” slogans and allegedly attacked on-site Indian-origin journalists.

Supporters of Khalistan demonstrated in front of the Indian Embassy in Canada in March. They shouted “pro-Khalistan” and allegedly attacked on-site Indian-origin journalists. Dr Jaishankar went on to commend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US and said that India is also concentrating on negotiating free trade deals with Europe.

Relationship with United States doing exceptionally well: EAM Jaishankar

“Today, it is a very polarised world, and the global stage is so much more challenging. Our relations with the United States are exceptionally well. We have had the most productive visit in history,” EAM Jaishankar said.

EAM further added “We have moved into a positive domain with the US for shaping the world for common purposes. The attention being given to Europe is remarkable. The big issue before us is concluding the free trade agreement, but we are more hopeful than we have been in past”.

The EAM also stated that despite all of the turmoil, relations between India and Russia have been constant. “Our relations with Russia have been kept steady despite all turbulence. We have made our own evaluation over the years regarding the importance of this. It is a mistake to dumb down ties with Russia to just defence dependences. We have an upswing in the economic part of our relations with Russia,” he added.