India summons Canadian envoy, warns of damaging impact on ties after PM Trudeau’s remarks

Prime News, National, New Delhi, December 4:-The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday summoned the Canadian High Commissioner and warned that comments such as those made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could have a “seriously damaging impact” on ties between India and Canada.

In a strongly-worded statement, the MEA stated that the Canadian envoy was informed that comments by the Canadian Prime Minister, some Cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament on issues relating to Indian farmers “constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs”.

“Such actions, if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada,” the statement added.

Trudeau, during an online event on Monday to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, had spoken about the ongoing farmers’ agitation in India. He said that the news coming out of India was “concerning” and his country would “always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest”.

“We’re all very worried about family and friends. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we’ve reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns,” he said during the virtual celebration with the Sikh community.

The MEA said these comments have encouraged gatherings of “extremist activities” in front of our High Commission and Consulates in Canada that raise issues of safety and security.

“We expect the Canadian Government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism,” the statement added.

On Tuesday too, a day after Trudeau’s statement, India had denounced the Canadian PM’s remarks on the farmers’ protests as “ill-informed” and “unwarranted”. “Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said.

Trudeau’s remarks were echoed by other Canadian leaders, including Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole, who called the right to peacefully protest “fundamental” to democracy.

The statements had been issued after thousands of farmers travelled to Delhi over the last week to demand the scrapping of contentious agricultural reforms. Protesters were met last week with barricades at Delhi’s border and clashes erupted between farmers and police.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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