New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s strong concerns about the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada that were promoting secessionism, inciting violence against its diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
In his talks with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Modi also mentioned that a relationship based on “mutual respect and trust” is essential for the progress of the India-Canada relationship, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
“The prime minister highlighted that India-Canada relations are anchored in shared democratic values, respect for rule of law and strong people-to-people ties,” it said.
“He conveyed our strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada. They are promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship,” it said.
The nexus of such forces with organised crime, drug syndicates and human trafficking should be a concern for Canada as well. It is essential for the two countries to cooperate in dealing with such threats, the MEA said in a statement.
Asked about India’s concerns over the increasing activities of the Khalistani elements in Canada, Trudeau said at a press conference that his country will always defend freedom of peaceful protest but at the same time asserted that it will always prevent violence and push back against hatred.
“Canada will always defend freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful protest and it is extremely important to us,” he said.
“At the same time, we are always there to prevent violence and to push back against hatred. I think on the issue of the community, it is important to remember that the actions of the few do not represent the entire community or Canada,” Trudeau said.
The Canadian prime minister said India is an important partner of Canada in a range of sectors.
“India is an extraordinarily important economy in the world and an important partner to Canada on everything from fighting climate change to creating growth and prosperity for the citizens,” he said.
The Canadian prime minister said both sides will continue to look at expanding existing cooperation.
In a post on ‘X’, Modi said he and Trudeau discussed the full range of India-Canada ties across different sectors.