- Sputnik India, 1920
Canada-India Row
A major diplomatic row has erupted between India and Canada after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that Indian “agents” could have been behind the killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Ex-Canadian FM Tears Into Trudeau for Pandering to Khalistani Extremists

© Photo : Facebook/ Justin TrudeauCanada PM Justin Trudeau addresses Sikh community
Canada PM Justin Trudeau addresses Sikh community - Sputnik India, 1920, 01.05.2024
In an exclusive interview with Sputnik India, Canada's former top diplomat has criticised mainstream politicians for pandering to radical Sikhs for votes.
Former Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier, who heads the People's Party of Canada (PPC), has slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre for "ethnic pandering" to pro-Khalistan terrorist sympathisers.
"Canadian politics is devolving into ethnic pandering, with mainstream politicians dressing up in ethnic garbs, making targeted promises and uttering slogans in foreign languages to appeal to specific ethnic groups, as both Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre did last weekend at the Khalsa Day event in Toronto," Bernier told Sputnik India.
He didn't mince his words in criticising New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh, Trudeau's coalition partner, who was also present at the controversial Toronto event.

Bernier accused Singh of having links with "Khalistani terrorist sympathisers" over his initial reluctance to condemn the terrorists who bombed an Air India flight mid-air in 1985, leading to deaths of 329 passengers.

"Jagmeet Singh is of course himself Sikh and was elected leader of his party largely thanks to votes by members of the Sikh community who mobilized to support him. He used to hang out with Khalistani terrorist sympathizers, which should disqualify him as a legitimate leader of a major Canadian political party," Bernier said.

"I am the only political leader who refuses to pander to any particular ethnic group with specific promises, and who offers the same policies to all Canadians," the PPC leader asserted.
The political attack by Bernier comes just days after both Trudeau and Polievre appeared at the 'Khalsa Day' event in Toronto to mark Vaisakhi, or the Sikh New Year, on 28 April.
Pro-Khalistan slogans, flags and banners vilifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi were raised at the event, provoking a strong diplomatic response from New Delhi.
Hours after the pictures and videos of the event surfaced online, India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned Canada's Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi over "the raising of separatist slogans on Khalistan", according to an official statement.
"The Government of India’s deep concern and strong protest was conveyed at such disturbing actions being allowed to continue unchecked at the event. This illustrates once again the political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism and violence. Their continued expressions not only impact India-Canada relations but also encourage a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens," the MEA said in its strong-worded statement.

Pro-Khalistan Activists Pose a Threat to "Social Peace", Harm Ties With India

Bernier went on to warn about the internal and external perils of 'Khalistan activism' brought into Canada by a section of Sikh immigrants from India.
"India is by far the largest source of immigrants to Canada. The increasing number of Sikh immigrants who bring their Khalistani activism to Canada does pose a threat to social peace in our country, and to our cordial relations with India," he remarked.
A votary of regulated immigration, Bernier noted that "mass immigration" was already responsible for a slew of problems, which include a worsening housing crisis, lower standards of living and undermining the social and cultural cohesion.
In January, Canada's state broadcaster cited leaked government documents which warned that record immigration levels were directly responsible for shortage of housing and lower quality healthcare in the country.
"It poses an even greater danger when some immigrants come to Canada with tribal conflicts from their country of origin, and pursue them in our country instead of leaving them behind and integrating into our society," Bernier suggested.
According to official figures from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), India ranks as the biggest source of immigrants for Canada. As far as Sikhs are concerned, around 800,000 Sikhs live in Canada, the most for any country outside India.
Bernier's concerns echo those of New Delhi's, which has stated on multiple occasions that the Canadian government was allowing "operating space" to extremists and terrorists.
India has also warned Western nations, including Canada and the US, that many of the pro-Khalistan activists have been seeking refuge in these nations under the garb of human rights.
Canada PM Justin Trudeau addresses Sikh community - Sputnik India, 1920, 29.04.2024
Canada-India Row
Canadian PM Addresses Pro-Khalistan Extremists at Vaisakhi Event in Toronto
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