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India livid as Canadian Prime Minister pledges support for farmers’ protest | India News

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NEW DELHI: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit the deadlock on India’s new farm laws Monday night, joining protesting farmers and announcing that his government had reached out to Indian authorities to highlight the Canadian concerns on the issue.
Trudeau’s comments sparked a diplomatic dispute with India, which he said officially in a statement that such comments were misinformed and unjustified, especially “when they concern the internal affairs of a democratic country.”
Official sources said India also filed a formal protest with Canada against comments made by Trudeau and members of his cabinet.
“It is also better that diplomatic talks are not misrepresented for political purposes,” said MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava.
Trudeau appeared to have irritated India by speaking publicly about discussions on the subject only to serve his own political interests. There are up to 18 Sikh MPs in the Canadian Parliament, 13 of them from the ruling Liberal Party. However, extremist elements within the sizeable Sikh community, according to Indian authorities, have not found much traction with the Trudeau government, which earlier this year refused to recognize the 2020 Khalistan referendum organized by a pro-Khalistan group. .
India did not mention Trudeau in its response and said it was reacting to media inquiries about comments by “Canadian leaders” related to farmers in India.
While addressing the Sikh community virtually on the occasion of Gurpurab, Trudeau described the situation as “worrying” and said Canada will always be there to protect the right to peaceful protest.
“I would be remiss if I did not start by acknowledging the news from India about the farmers’ protest. The situation is worrying. We are all very concerned about family and friends. I know that is a reality for many of you. I remind you that Canada will always be there to defend the right to peaceful protest, ”Trudeau said.
“We believe in the dialogue process and have reached out through multiple channels to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a time for all of us to come together,” he added.
Trudeau was not the only one expressing concern for farmers. His cabinet colleague and Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan had previously tweeted that reports of peaceful protesters being “brutalized” in India were very concerning.
“Many of my constituents have relatives there and are concerned for the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow for peaceful protests. I urge those involved to defend this fundamental right,” Sajjan tweeted.
Diplomatic sources said Canadian leaders had not spoken out on the merits of the new laws but on the plight of farmers. Another Sikh minister, Navdeep Bains, tweeted that many of his constituents were concerned for the safety of their relatives in India.
“Peaceful protests are essential in any democracy, and I urge that the rights of the protesters be respected, “he said.

Times of India

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