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Opinion

MEA Summons Canadian Envoy for Prime Minister Trudeau’s Comments on Farmers’ Protest

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India summoned Canadian envoy Nadir Patel on Friday and told him that comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian lawmakers on the farmers’ protest had the potential to “seriously” damage bilateral ties.

The move signaled India’s anger over comments by Canadian leaders that have been perceived in New Delhi as interference in the country’s internal affairs.

Trudeau sparked a diplomatic spat on Tuesday when he said in a Facebook video interaction organized to mark the 551st birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, that his government had relayed its concerns about the farmers’ protest to New Delhi.

In a swift reaction hours after Trudeau’s comments, the Foreign Office had dismissed them as “unjustified.”

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On Friday, the Canadian high commissioner was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and carried out a formal diplomatic representation or representation that said that the “comments of the Canadian prime minister, some cabinet ministers and members of parliament on issues related to Indian farmers constitute a unacceptable interference in our internal affairs, ”according to an official statement.

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

The statement further said that comments by Canadian leaders had “encouraged meetings of extremist activities in front of our high commission and consulates in Canada that raise security issues.”

“We hope that the Canadian government guarantees the maximum security of the Indian diplomatic personnel and their political leaders refrain from pronouncements that legitimize extremist activism,” he added.

During the Facebook interaction hosted by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger, Trudeau had said: “I would be remiss if I didn’t start by also acknowledging the news coming from India about the farmers’ protest. The situation is worrying and we are all very concerned about family and friends.

“I know it is a reality for many of you. Let me remind you that Canada will always be there to defend the right to peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that is why we have communicated through multiple means directly with the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns ”.

The virtual interaction was joined by Canadian Ministers Navdeep Bains and Harjit Sajjan, legislators and prominent members of the Sikh community. People familiar with the events said, on condition of anonymity, that Trudeau’s comments were apparently directed at Canada’s influential Indian-origin diaspora, particularly the Sikh community. Canada currently has 18 Sikh MPs, including 13 from Trudeau’s Liberal Party.

Trudeau was the first world leader to comment on the Indian farmers ‘protest, which the government is trying to end through talks with farmers’ leaders. The protest is directed against a set of laws to liberalize agricultural trade and open agricultural markets.

The comments were not viewed favorably in New Delhi because they came at a time when both India and Canada have been making efforts to restore normality to bilateral ties affected by Ottawa’s perceived weakness towards pro-Khalistan activists during the first term. by Trudeau.

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