NEW DELHI (Reuters) – On Friday, India summoned Canada’s ambassador and said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s remarks about India farm protests near Delhi were an intrusion in its domestic affairs and would seriously damage bilateral relations.
Speaking to the Indian community in Canada, Trudeau said this week that he was worried about the farmers, most of them from the Sikh-dominated Indian state of Punjab, who were camped out in a protest against farm reforms on the outskirts of Delhi.
Furthermore, in a statement, the Indian Foreign Ministry claimed that comments on “issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”
India and Canada have warm relations. However, there has been concern in India in recent years that some of Canada’s Sikh leaders have ties to separatist groups hostile to India.
Canada is home to a prominent Sikh community. There are some fringe groups there, Indian leaders say, who are still sympathetic to the cause of an independent Sikh state called Khalistan, carved out of India.
In addition, the Indian Foreign Ministry said Trudeau’s and other leaders’ remarks had emboldened extremist groups. It were a threat to its Canadian-based diplomatic staff.
Thus, we expect the Government of Canada to ensure the fullest protection for Indian diplomatic staff and their political leaders to refrain from statements legitimising extremist activism,” We expect the Canadian Government to ensure the fullest security of Indian diplomatic personnel and its political leaders to refrain from pronouncements that legitimise extremist activism,”
The Canadian embassy did not comment.
In order to resolve the impasse, the Indian government held talks with the farmers. Indian government try to convinced them that farm reforms were in their long-term interest.